Cover to Cover with Jack Foley

Cover to Cover with Jack Foley – June 20, 2018: Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Part Two

Part Two of Two
Poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti was born in 1919. On March 24, 2018 he turned 99 years old. Today’s show is a celebration of Ferlinghetti’s career and of his new book from New Directions, Ferlinghetti’s Greatest Poems, edited by Nancy J. Peters.
This is a rebroadcast of the second half of an interview Jack Foley did with Lawrence Ferlinghetti on April 21, 1994. The interview took place at City Lights and in it Ferlinghetti candidly discusses his entire career.
 “PITY THE NATION (After Khalil Gibran)” from Ferlinghetti’s Greatest Poems:
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
but aims to rule the world
by force and by torture
And knows
no other language 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 of my country
My country, tears of thee
Sweet land of liberty!
The book ends,
O endless the inchoate
                incoherent narrative— Voyageur, pass on!
We are not our fathers
                         yet we carry on
                                    breathing like them
                                           loving and killing like them
Away then away
                       in our great tall ships
           over the hills of ocean
   to where Atlantis
                       still rides the tides
     or where that magic mountain
                                    not on any map
                                          wreathed in radiance
                                                               still hides
 

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