In a Surrealist Year…… Sheltering in Place # 10

Camden Street, Dublin, Carole Craig

In a Surrealist Year………

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

n a surrealist year,
of sandwhichmen and sunbathers
dead sunflowers and live telephones
house-broken politicos with party whips
performed as usual
in the rings of their sawdust circuses
where tumblers and human cannonballs
filled the air like cries
when some cool clown
pressed an inedible mushroom button
and an inaudible Sunday bomb
fell down
catching the present at his prayers
on the 19th Green
Oh it was a spring
of fur leaves and cobalt flowers
when cadillacs fell thru the trees like rain
drowning the meadows with madnesss

while out of every imitation cloud
dropped myriad wingless crowds
of nutless nagasaki survivors
And lost teacups
full of our ashes
floated by

Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919 — )

I thought this was exactly the right poem for the time in which we find ourselves.

This copy of the poem comes from Poems of Protest Old and New, edited by Arnold Kenseth, 1969. However I believe the original is in Coney Island of the Mind. I apologize that WordPress no longer allows me to keep the layout I have typed in. Until I figure out a way around it, I cannot publish Ferlinghetti’s graceful original layout.

Nothing else to say except that my fervent wish is that we continue to find strength and compassion for one another for whatever lies ahead

3 thoughts on “In a Surrealist Year…… Sheltering in Place # 10

  1. Thank you for sharing this poem, Carole. I had not come across it before. And yes, you are right- it is a poem for these days we find ourselves living through. I wish it was only one surreal year but l think we’re in for a long haul with the promoters of hate. Are you in San Francisco or Dublin these days? Whenever l see the media giving air time to gun toting white supremacists in the US, l remember all my American friends who are sane, generous and intelligent human beings. I hope Americans similarly see past the British brand of free marketeers.I’m lucky to live near my grandchildren in a community that values the environment and creativity. I’m still writing, having set up a publishing company with three friends a few years ago. When this spasm caused by Covid-19 is over, feel free to visit. You will always be welcome.Stay well, stay creative,JeanSent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.


    • I thought & I hope I had already sent you a reply to this but in case here goes again: I am in SF. I came back because Faith’s house is the largest source of my income. I had planned to commute, but my dog isn’t able to travel comfortably any more. I would love to hear about your publishing company. My email is If you email me there, I have all sorts of questions.


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