Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Socialism and Sociability

Last June, while digging through 50 boxes of archival material about Bernie Sanders’s four terms as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, a reporter for the British newspaper the Guardian found a poem by Allen Ginsberg. Written by hand on a 1986 visit to the city, “Burlington Snow” didn’t name Sanders, but he was clearly the populist muse that inspired it. 
Ginsberg wrote, “Socialist snow on the streets / Socialist talk in the Maverick Bookstore / Socialist kids sucking socialist lollipops.” Then he turned outward, questioning with almost Elizabethan wit: “—aren’t the birds frozen socialists? / Aren’t the snowclouds blocking the airfield Social Democratic appearances?” 
After Ginsberg shares the city’s governing idea, the poem itself is shared: “Isn’t this poem socialist? It doesn’t belong to me anymore.”

Read more: http://forward.com/culture/longform/333227/that-time-allen-ginsberg-wrote-a-socialist-poem-about-bernie-sanders/#ixzz411tL7IJK

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