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Burlington Snow

By Allen Ginsberg

We usually try not to get too political with our poetry Thursday posts, but this poem is just too clever and timely. In 1986, Allen Ginsberg wrote this poem in praise of Bernie Sanders, then the mayor of Burlington, Vermont. We post it today in honor of the announcement of Sanders’s 2nd presidential campaign. We hope you enjoy…

Socialist snow on the streets
Socialist talk in the Maverick bookstore
Socialist kids sucking socialist lollipops
Socialist poetry in socialist mouths
—aren’t the birds frozen socialists?
Aren’t the snowclouds blocking the airfield
Social Democratic Appearances?
Isn’t the socialist sky owned by
the socialist sun?
Earth itself socialist, forests, rivers, lakes
furry mountains, socialist salt
in oceans?
Isn’t this poem socialist? It doesn’t
belong to me anymore.

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