Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dept. of Found Poetry

The last two out of nine stanzas of "One Thousand Fearful Words for Fidel Castro."  Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 1961.  

I was sitting in Mike’s Place, Fidel
waiting for someone else to act
like a good Liberal
I hadn’t quite finished reading Camus’ Rebel
So I couldn’t quite recognize you, Fidel
walking up and down your island
when they came for you, Fidel
“My Country or Death” you told them
Well you’ve got your little death, Fidel
like old Honest Abe
one of your boyhood heroes
who also had his little Civil War
and was a different kind of Liberator
(since no one was shot in his war)
and also was murdered
in the course of human events

Fidel… Fidel…
your coffin passes by
thru lanes and streets you never knew
thru day and night, Fidel
While lilacs last in the dooryard bloom, Fidel
your futile trip is done
yet is not done
and is not futile
I give you my sprig of laurel

Found in The Voice that is Great Within Us; American Poetry of the Twentieth Century, edited by Hayden Carruth.  Bantam Books, 1970.

Fidel Castro, 84, lives in Havana, Cuba.  He retired in December, 2010.

However, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, active at 91, could still get the chance to eulogize Mr. Castro.  

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