Sometime During Eternity . . .

By Lawrence Ferlinghetti b. 1919 Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Sometime during eternity
                                                       some guys show up   
and one of them
                      who shows up real late
                                                       is a kind of carpenter   
      from some square-type place
                                              like Galilee
          and he starts wailing
                                          and claiming he is hip
            to who made heaven
                                       and earth
                                                      and that the cat
                   who really laid it on us
                                                 is his Dad

          And moreover
             he adds
                         It’s all writ down
                                              on some scroll-type parchments   
          which some henchmen
                  leave lying around the Dead Sea somewheres   
                a long time ago
                                       and which you won’t even find   
         for a coupla thousand years or so
                                                 or at least for
      nineteen hundred and fortyseven
                                                      of them
                            to be exact
                                             and even then
         nobody really believes them
                                                   or me
                                                            for that matter
          You’re hot
                         they tell him
          And they cool him

          They stretch him on the Tree to cool

                         And everybody after that
                                                               is always making models   
                                          of this Tree
                                                          with Him hung up   
          and always crooning His name
                                     and calling Him to come down   
                                 and sit in
                                                 on their combo
                           as if he is the king cat
                                                            who’s got to blow   
                      or they can’t quite make it

                      Only he don’t come down
                                                         from His Tree
          Him just hang there
                                       on His Tree
          looking real Petered out
                                          and real cool
                                                             and also
                   according to a roundup
                                                    of late world news   
             from the usual unreliable sources
                                                               real dead

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, “Sometime During Eternity...” from Coney Island of the Mind. Copyright © 1958 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation, www.wwnorton.com/nd/welcome.htm.

Source: These Are My Rivers: New and Selected Poems (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1993)

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Poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti b. 1919

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

Subjects History & Politics, Religion, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Lawrence  Ferlinghetti

Biography

As poet, playwright, publisher, and activist, Lawrence Ferlinghetti helped to spark the San Francisco literary renaissance of the 1950s and the subsequent “Beat” movement. Like the Beats, Ferlinghetti felt strongly that art should be accessible to all people, not just a handful of highly educated intellectuals. His career has been marked by its constant challenge of the status quo; his poetry engages readers, defies popular . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT History & Politics, Religion, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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