A ~ Ferlinghetti Memorial Supplement ~ 60 Narrations
Syndic Literary Journal

Ferlinghetti Memorial Supplement ~ Reading Yeats I Do Not Think

Reading Yeats I Do Not Think

Narrated by Stanley H. Barkan

New York

Reading Yeats I do not think
of Ireland
but of midsummer New York
and of myself back then
reading that copy I found
on the Thirdavenue El

the El
with its flyhung fans
and its signs reading
SPITTING IS FORBIDDEN

the El
careening thru its thirdstory world
with its thirdstory people
in their thirdstory doors
looking as if they had never heard
of the ground

an old dame
watering her plant
or a joker in a straw
putting a stickpin in his peppermint tie
and looking just like he had nowhere to go
but coneyisland

or an undershirted guy
rocking in his rocker—watching the El pass by
as if he expected it to be different
each time

Reading Yeats I do not think
of Arcady
and of its woods which Yeats thought dead
I think instead
of all the gone faces
getting off
 at midtown places
with their hats and their jobs
and of that lost book I had
with its blue cover and its white inside
—where a pencilhand had written
HORSEMAN, PASS BY!

 

 

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