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Posts Tagged ‘poems’

There is currently no better ad campaign than Levi’s “Go Forth” campaign. They employ the first few verses of “Pioneers! O Pioneers!” a poem by Walt Whitman and try to appeal to Generation Y and beyond with the call for youthful vigor. Maybe I’m a sucker but it makes me want to buy (more) Levi’s. In this campaign they realize their role in American culture and by referencing other quintessential American figures/ideals they make their jeans more than a product, they make them a lifestyle.

Here’s an excerpt from “Pioneers! O Pioneers!”

Come my tan-faced children,
Follow well in order, get your weapons ready,
Have you your pistols? have you your sharp-edged axes?
Pioneers! O pioneers!

For we cannot tarry here,
We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of danger,
We the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

O you youths, Western youths,
So impatient, full of action, full of manly pride and friendship,
Plain I see you Western youths, see you tramping with the foremost,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Have the elder races halted?
Do they droop and end their lesson, wearied over there beyond the
seas?
We take up the task eternal, and the burden and the lesson,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

All the past we leave behind,
We debouch upon a newer mightier world, varied world,
Fresh and strong the world we seize, world of labor and the march,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

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Abysmal Humor

funny how the
funny men
die too.

the void is a
well of
echoing laughter.

resigning to
our cosmic futility
would undo us
if it were not so funny
to worry about the loud minutes
and quiet seconds.

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Circulatory System

I’m sick
from the
blood of
starry-eyed massacres.
flash a gunshot—
burst balloons
downtown.
taste the sole of my
shoe
this old city
is my circulatory system.
I’m the historiographer
I’m the chemical
dissolver.

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