Friday, July 7, 2017

Pity the Nation

Possible US stamp honoring poet, publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti

by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (2007)
(After Khalil Gibran)

Pity the nation whose people are sheep
And whose shepherds mislead them
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars
Whose sages are silenced
And whose bigots haunt the airwaves
Pity the nation that raises not its voice
Except to praise conquerors
And acclaim the bully as hero
And aims to rule the world
By force and by torture
Pity the nation that knows
No other language but its own
And no other culture but its own
Pity the nation whose breath is money
And sleeps the sleep of the too well fed
Pity the nation oh pity the people
who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away 
My country, tears of thee
Sweet land of liberty!

Lawrence Ferlinghetti at City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco



crunchymama said...

Tears. Thank you Nick

Jack Sarfatti said...

I love the Poet, but he has been brainwashed by Communist Party way back in the 30s 40s 50s - Red Diaper Baby leader of the North Beach Progressives my neighbors.

Beau Blue said...

Written in 2007? When the worst president America ever had was "W". Well, somehow the American people trumped "W" as the worst and now we are in very real trouble. Not from communists, as we thought, but from fascist oligarchs. Pity the Nation, indeed.


Unknown said...

Pitiful indeed!
Just as in past the young "woke" voices do rise anew. Speaking truth to power. Speaking power to the people. Taking action!

Ginny from Jurupa Valley said...

This country needs a lot of pity. The poem reminded me of Mohammed Ali's: "I pity the fool." Our country no longer has ONE leader. Now, every other person is pledging their allegiance to a different ideology, none that would "cure" the abyss between us. :( This country was founded on God's precepts ... go to Washington, D.C. and see all the engravings and markings and go to the founding documents -- all showing where we "departed from"...)

muzuzuzus said...

Very real and powerful poem! Yes, we need to get to know the REAL enemy, because he is devious and may put different coats or masks on to fool you into a pseudo-choice. So we have to KNOW who the REAL enemy is. What do all these masks share? what's the pattern?
In summary, I see they are usually all anti-psychedelics, and also world-denying. This makes insane sense because they want to provide a 'solution' we will cling to, and to do that they have to make us fearful of ourselves and of others, and of the natural world.

nick herbert said...

The Real Enemy will pretend to be our Greatest Friend.