[THE NIGHT THAT LORCA COMES]

By Bob Kaufman 1925–1986 Bob Kaufman
THE NIGHT THAT LORCA COMES
SHALL BE A STRANGE NIGHT IN THE
SOUTH, IT SHALL BE THE TIME WHEN NEGROES LEAVE THE
SOUTH
        FOREVER,
GREEN TRAINS SHALL ARRIVE
FROM RED PLANET MARS
CRACKLING BLUENESS SHALL SEND TOOTH-COVERED CARS FOR
THEM
TO LEAVE IN, TO GO INTO
THE NORTH FOREVER, AND I SEE MY LITTLE GIRL MOTHER
AGAIN WITH HER CROSS THAT
IS NOT BURNING, HER SKIRTS
OF BLACK, OF ALL COLORS, HER AURA
OF FAMILIARITY. THE SOUTH SHALL WEEP
BITTER TEARS TO NO AVAIL,
THE NEGROES HAVE GONE
INTO CRACKLING BLUENESS.
CRISPUS ATTUCKS SHALL ARRIVE WITH THE BOSTON
COMMONS, TO TAKE ELISSI LANDI
NORTH, CRISPUS ATTUCKS SHALL
BE LAYING ON BOSTON COMMONS,
ELISSI LANDI SHALL FEEL ALIVE
AGAIN. I SHALL CALL HER NAME
AS SHE STEPS ON TO THE BOSTON
COMMONS, AND FLIES NORTH FOREVER,
LINCOLN SHALL BE THERE,
TO SEE THEM LEAVE THE
SOUTH FOREVER, ELISSI LANDI, SHE WILL BE
GREEN.
THE WHITE SOUTH SHALL GATHER AT
PRESERVATION HALL.

Bob Kaufman, “[THE NIGHT THAT LORCA COMES]” from The Ancient Rain. Copyright © 1981 by Bob Kaufman. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: The Ancient Rain (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1981)

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Poet Bob Kaufman 1925–1986

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Race & Ethnicity

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

A Beat poet, and founder of the journal Beatitude with Allen Ginsberg and others, poet Bob Kaufman was born in New Orleans in 1925 to a German Jewish father and a black Catholic mother. As a young man, he joined the U.S. Merchant Marine, briefly studied at the New School in New York, and moved to San Francisco, where he associated with such writers as Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Ginsberg.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Race & Ethnicity

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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