Ferlinghetti’s Yawp (an excerpt)

“Walt Whitman, you should be living at this hour!
Optimist of humanity en masse
Old greybeard–old Walt
stepping off Brooklyn Ferry
into the heart of America–
You who contained multitudes
You who sounded your barbaric yawp
over the roofs of the world
You who said “I’ll whimper up no more”
Out of the closet endlessly rocking
You who struck up for the New World–
“Solitary, singing in the West”–

Whereaway now, dear poet, dear lover, eternal yea-sayer?

Time of Useful Consciousness — Lawrence Ferlinghetti
95 years old this March 2014


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