“Dreams Are the Royal Road to the Unconscious”

By Paul Goodman 1911–1972 Paul Goodman

“Dreams Are the Royal Road to the Unconscious”

The King’s Highway to the Dare-Not-Know
—but I beg my rides and oh I know
these boring roads where hundreds and hundreds
of cars fade by in hundred-hundreds
of flashing windows too bright too fast
to see my face. I am steadfast
long hours o’ the morning, I am so sad.
An old-time trap, an ancient sad
horse and his farmer stop by the way,
they’ll take me one mile on my way
—out of my way—is this the Way?
I used to think I used to be happy,
but is it possible to be happy?
What is it like?—like Plato oh
we’ll copy it at large and oh
plan a city where all the distances
(where? where?) are walking distances.

June 1947

Source: Poetry (October 2012).


This poem originally appeared in the October 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

October 2012
 Paul  Goodman


During the wave of radicalism which swept college campuses in the 1960s, students who believed they could trust no one over thirty made an exception for Paul Goodman. Journalists have noted that Goodman was the only writer consistently quoted by the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley. According to George Steiner, "Goodman's is about the only American voice that young English pacifists and nuclear disarmers find convincing." . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Mind, Activities, Travels & Journeys

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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