Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Pity the Nation

I went to the famous City Lights bookshop while in San Francisco and bought a copy of Howl by Allen Ginsberg. If there is a place to get Howl, it is the City Lights bookshop, I think. Anyway, there was a bookmark inserted inside and it was a poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Here's what it said:

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 conquerers
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 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!

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