Ferlinghetti's "I Am Waiting"
Lawrence Ferlinghetti—Beat poet, champion of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, and founder of San Francisco’s iconic City Lights Bookstore—turns 100 today (and he’s still alive and thriving!). Here’s “I Am Waiting” from his 1958 collection “A Coney Island State of Mind.” Photo by Christopher Felver
I am waiting for my case to come up.
And I am waiting for a rebirth of wonder.
And I am waiting for someone to really discover America and wail.
And I am waiting for the discovery of a new symbolic Western frontier.
And I am waiting for the American eagle to really spread its wings and straighten up and fly right.
And I am waiting for the age of anxiety to drop dead.
And I am waiting for the war to be fought, which will make the world safe for anarchy.
I am waiting for my number to be called.
And I am waiting for the Salvation Army to take over.
And I am waiting for the meek to be blessed and inherit the Earth without taxes.
And I am waiting for a reconstructed Mayflower to reach America with its picture story and TV rights sold in advance to the Natives.
And I am waiting for the lost music to sound again and the lost continent in a new rebirth of wonder.
And I am waiting for some strains of unpremeditated art to shake my typewriter.
And I am waiting to write the great indelible poem.
And I am waiting for the last long, careless rapture.
And I am perpetually waiting for the fleeing lovers on the Grecian urn to catch each other up at last and embrace.
And I am waiting perpetually and forever a renaissance of wonder.
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