Pity the Nation (after Kahlil Gibran)

POETRY FORMAT, 13 Jan 2020

Lawrence Ferlinghetti – TRANSCEND Media Service

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.


Lawrence Monsanto Ferlinghetti is an American poet, painter, social activist, and the co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers. He is the author of poetry, translations, fiction, theatre, art criticism, and film narration. Wikipedia



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One Response to “Pity the Nation (after Kahlil Gibran)”

  1. Gary Corseri says:

    God bless Lawrence Ferlinghetti! I believe he recently turned 100! And, he has certainly been one of the great figures of the last 100 years–not only with his own strong and vibrant work in poetry and prose, but with his encouragement of others through his stewardship as publisher of City Lights Books.