LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI:

Here's another attempt at prophesy before September 11.

It's kind of based on the Greek poet, Cavafy.

 

"Are there not still fireflies

Are there not still four-leaf clovers

Is not our land still beautiful

our fields not full of armed enemies

our cities never bombed

by foreign invaders

never occupied

by iron armies

speaking iron tongues

Are not our warriors still valiant

ready to defend us

Are not our senators

still wearing fine togas

Are we not still a great people

in the greatest country in all the world

Is this not still a free country

Are not our fields still ours

our gardens still full of flowers

our ships with full cargoes

Why then do some still fear

the barbarians coming

coming coming

in their huddled masses

(What is that sound that fills the ear

drumming drumming?)

Is not Rome still Rome

Is not Los Angeles still Los Angeles

Are these not the last days of the Roman Empire

Is not beauty still beauty

And truth still truth

Are there not still poets

Are there not still lovers

Are there not still mothers

sisters and brothers

Is there not still a full moon

once a month

Are there not still fireflies

Are there not still stars at night

Can we not still see them

in bowl of night

signalling to us

our manifest destiny?"