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flight - kenneth Patchen

I found Kenneth Patchen in the Outlaw bible of American poetry. His writing is said to be an important influence in the beat generation. Like many of the others who are featured in this amazing anthology of “underground” poets, renegades and anarchists, Patchen’s writing stands out in its innovation in form and blurring of boundaries between different genres.

I have chosen these lines because, for me, it has set like the translucent film of cream on the boiled milk of this year. This has been the year of the reinvention of flying, of the beating heart of the birds of freedom, taking off in their first flights, fear nestled deep under their wings as they soar into the sky. This has been the year of the poem and not the poet. of the underdog.

We have learnt to love the action for itself and not its ends. Even in the face of adversity, the human heart has found solace, companionship and meaning. The rise of fascism across the world has been met with unimaginable resistance. We have seen miracles in our time. We have realised today, that there is such a thing as the collective evolution of thought.


I share this poem today as an ode to the impenetrable belief that we have in each other. in ourselves. in truth, and in a better world. the way we trust, and trust, again and again and again. the way we learn to seek out embers even within the ashes, embers that will flare into the revolution as the time demands.


The year to come will be a testimony to our flight. even the sky will break into applause. and our eyes will glow, in the time to come. we will feel our souls become -

an ecstasy of wings.




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