To the Oracle at Delphi – Lauwrence FERLINGHETTI

A l’heure où médias et politiques  se prennent régulièrement pour des visionnaires, les seuls à même de nous dévoiler ce que sera demain, allons à Delphes… avec  Lauwrence Ferlinghetti…  à la rencontre de la Pitti.  

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Great Oracle, why are you staring at me?
do I baffle you, do I make you despair?
I, Americus, the American,
wrought from the dark in my mother long ago,
from the dark of ancient Europa–
Why are you staring at me now
in the dusk of our civilization–
Why are you staring at me
as if I were America itself
the new Empire
vaster than in ancient days
with its electronic highways
carrying its corporate monoculture
around the world
And English the Latin of our days

Great Oracle, sleeping through the centuries,
Awaken now at last
And tell us how to save us from ourselves
and how to survive our own rulers
who would make plutocracy of our democracy
in the Great Divide
between the rich and the poor
in whom Walt Whitman heard America singing.

O long-silent Sybil,
you of the winged Dreams,
Speak out from your temple of light
as the serious constellations
with Greek names
still stare down on us
as a lighthouse moves its megaphone
over the sea
Speak out and shine upon us
the sea-light of Greece
the diamond light of Greece

Far-seeing Sybil, forever hidden,
Come out of your cave at last
And speak to us in a poet’s voice
the voice of the fourth singular
the voice of the inscrutable future
the voice of the people mixed
with a wild soft laughter
And give us new dreams to dream,
Give us new myths to live by !


Lawrence FERLINGHETTI – 2001
Read at Delphi on March 21, 2001 at the UNESCO WORLD POETRY DAY