Don’t Let That Horse . . .

Don’t let that horse
                              eat that violin

    cried Chagall’s mother

                                     But he   
                      kept right on
                                     painting

And became famous

And kept on painting
                              The Horse With Violin In Mouth

And when he finally finished it
he jumped up upon the horse
                                        and rode away   
          waving the violin

And then with a low bow gave it
to the first naked nude he ran across


And there were no strings   
                                     attached

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, “Don’t Let That Horse...” from A 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)
More Poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti