Ferlinghetti’s prescient poem, “Pity the Nation,” describes actual SOTU, 2020

Image: Lawrence Ferlinghetti at Caffe Trieste in 2012 by Christopher Michel. CC BY-SA 4.0

This Lawrence Ferlinghetti poem crossed my transom yesterday morning. I cannot think of a more fitting encapsulation of where we are, here in our post Rule of Law era.

“PITY THE NATION” (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!

[H/t Linda Lewitt]

Image: Lawrence Ferlinghetti at Caffe Trieste in 2012 by Christopher Michel. CC BY-SA 4.0

 

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