This week GJEP Executive Director reads a poem by poet, anarchist and painter Lawrence Ferlinghetti in honor of his 100th birthday.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the poet, anarchist and painter who co-founded City Light books in San Francisco turned 100 on Sunday. I dedicate the Earth Minute this week to Ferlinghetti’s visionary ideas with his own writings.
In 2007 he wrote “Pity the Nation”, a poem which could have been written yesterday, its arrow of truth still deadly accurate.
“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 with 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.”
Happy Birthday Lawrence Ferlinghetti
For the Earth Minute and the Sojourner Truth show, this is Anne Petermann, for Global Justice Ecology Project.