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Christ Climbed Down


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Christ Climbed Down

by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

 

CHRIST climbed down

from His bare Tree

this year

and ran away to where

there were no rootless Christmas trees

hung with candycanes and breakable stars

 

Christ climbed down

from His bare Tree

this year

and ran away to where

there were no gilded Christmas trees

and no tinsel Christmas trees

and no tinfoil Christmas trees

and no pink plastic Christmas trees

and no gold Christmas trees

and no black Christmas trees

and no powderblue Christmas trees

hung with electric candles

and encircled by tin electric trains

and clever cornball relatives

 

Christ climbed down

from His bare Tree

this year

and ran away to where

no intrepid Bible salesmen

covered the territory

in two-tone cadillacs

and where no Sears Roebuck creches

complete with plastic babe in manger

arrived by parcel post

the babe by special delivery

and where no televised Wise Men

praised the Lord Calvert Whiskey

 

Christ climbed down

from His bare Tree

this year

and ran away to where

no fat handshaking stranger

in a red flannel suit

and a fake white beard

went around passing himself off

as some sort of North Pole saint

crossing the desert to Bethlehem

Pennsylvania

in a Volkswagon sled

drawn by rollicking Adirondack reindeer

with German names

and bearing sacks of Humble Gifts

from Saks Fifth Avenue

for everybody's imagined Christ child

 

Christ climbed down

from His bare Tree

this year

and ran away to where

no Bing Crosby carollers

groaned of a tight Christmas

and where no Radio City angels

iceskated wingless

thru a winter wonderland

into a jinglebell heaven

daily at 8:30

with Midnight Mass matinees

 

Christ climbed down

from His bare Tree

this year

and softly stole away into

some anonymous Mary's womb again

where in the darkest night

of everybody's anonymous soul

He awaits again

an unimaginable and impossibly

Immaculate Reconception

the very craziest

of Second Comings

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I read some Ferlinghetti back in a college lit class. Wasn't this particular one, but still, good stuff.

 

There's a cool bookstore in San Francisco that I visited that all the beats used to frequent back in the day, I guess. Lot of Kerouac, lot of Ginsburg. It was definitely the sort of place in which I could spend all day reading in a corner.

baby, take off your beret

everyone's a critic and most people are DJs

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I found the Ferlinghetti poem I read (and enjoyed) back in the day. All the aspiring poets (and fan fiction-writers) among us can probably relate to it. It's called "Constantly Risking Absurdity" and it goes something like this...

 

Constantly risking absurdity

and death

whenever he performs

above the heads

of his audience

the poet like an acrobat

climbs on rhyme

to a high wire of his own making

and balancing on eyebeams

above a sea of faces

paces his way

to the other side of the day

performing entrachats

and sleight-of-foot tricks

and other high theatrics

and all without mistaking

any thing

for what it may not be

For he's the super realist

who must perforce perceive

taut truth

before the taking of each stance or step

in his supposed advance

toward that still higher perch

where Beauty stands and waits

with gravity

to start her death-defying leap

And he

a little charleychaplin man

who may or may not catch

her fair eternal form

spreadeagled in the empty air

of existence

baby, take off your beret

everyone's a critic and most people are DJs

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It doesn't rhyme.

 

Thats not entirely true, it rhymes... in places. Anyway it has meter and that is enough.

 

Bah! If rhyme was good enough for Poe, Burns, Chaucer and Shakespeare, it's good enough for any upstart modern poet!

 

Lousy stinkin' youngters thinkin' they know so much about poetry. *mumble* *grumble*

 

 

Well, at least it's not free verse, so I suppose that makes it sort of okay.

 

*ghrumble*

Edited by Reveilled

Hawk! Eggplant! AWAKEN!

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