Oral Interpretation of Literature ENGL 4433
12 September 2005
Ferlinghetti Obeys His Own Poem
Poetry can have many purposes, or reasons, for its' creation and production. One such purpose is that of sending a message to an intended audience. Some poets, when sending an intentional message, will do it directly using words that are more denotative in meaning, and some will express themselves more indirectly, using connotative wording, riddled with layered connections, or some combination in between. In this poem, however, "Speak Out!" by famous Beat Poet and painter, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, composed in March of 2003, Ferlinghetti is choosing to send his message in a very direct manner. His images cast indirect blame, but listen to whom he is really speaking to. SPEAK OUT!
By Lawrence Ferlinghetti
And a vast paranoia sweeps across the land 1 And America turns the attack on its Twin Towers 2 Into the beginning of the Third World War 3 The war with the Third World 4
And the terrorists in Washington 5 Are shipping out the young men 6 To the killing fields again 7
And no one speaks 8
And they are rousting out 9 All the ones with turbans 10 And they are flushing out 11 All the strange immigrants 12
And they are shipping all the young men 13 To the killing fields again 14
And no one speaks 15
And when they come to round up 16 All the great writers and poets and painters 17 The National Endowment of the Arts of Complacency 18 Will not speak 19
While all the young men 20 Will be killing all the young men 21 In the killing fields again 22
So now is the time for you to speak 23 All you lovers of liberty 24 All you lovers of the pursuit of happiness 25 All you lovers and sleepers...