Thursday, January 18, 2007

What I'm Thinking About This Morning

Note: this is without the line spacing which moves in and out like waves.

The General Song Of Humanity
By Lawrence Ferlinghetti

On the coast of Chile where Neruda lived
it's well known that
seabirds often steal
letters out of mailboxes
which they would like to scan
for various reasons
Shall I enumerate the reasons?
they are quite clear
even given the silence of birds on the subject
(except when they speak of it
among themselves
between cries)

First of all
they steal the letters because
they sense that the General Song
of the words of everyone
hidden in these letters
must certainly bear the keys
to the heart itself of humanity
which the birds themselves
have never been able to fathom
(in fact entertaining much doubt
that there actually are
hearts in humans)
And then these birds have a further feeling
that their own general song
might somehow be enriched
by these strange cries of humans
(What a weird bird-brain idea
that out twitterings might enlighten them)

But when they stole away
with neruda's own letters
out of his mailbox at Isla Negra
they were in fact stealing back their own Canto General
which he had originally gathered
from them
with their omniveriious & ecstaic
sweeping vision

But now that Neruda is dead
no more such letters are written
and they must play it by ear again-
the high great song
in the heart of our blood & silence

Cuernavaca, October 26,'75

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