Oh You Gatherer

By Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Oh you gatherer
      of the fine ash of poetry
            ash of the too-white flame
                  of poetry

Consider those who have burned before you
            in the so-white fire

Crucible of Keats and Campana
            Bruno and Sappho
                  Rimbaud and Poe and Corso
      And Shelley burning on the beach
                   at Viarreggio

And now in the night
      in the general conflagration
            the white light
                  still consuming us
      small clowns
            with our little tapers
            held to the flame 

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