• Dina Stander

Safe home Lawrence Ferlinghetti ~ 2/23/21


In 2019 I watched an interview with Lawrence Ferlinghetti. At one point in the conversation he was hanging something up on a wall, pounding a nail, laughing, he looked over his shoulder at the camera. There was a spark. I wrote this poem, which I later published to honor his centennial birthday. Today we hear of his death @101.


(photos via The Guardian, with a tip o' the hat to my Uncle Petey too).


Take This Hammer

(in honor of Lawrence Ferlinghetti's hundredth birthday)


Watch an old man

pound a nail into

the wall and know

that once he could

set a nail, that

same small thing,

with one or two

swings of a strong

arm. Watch an

old man hit the

nail on the head

over and over

striking on center,

sure that in time

it will set in the

sweet spot. Watch

an old man turn

from the nail and

sigh with knowing

the nail will hold

longer than his grip

on the hammer will.

Watch an old man

set a nail and

laugh, reaching

for another nail.


This poem was included in the book

We Are BEAT: National Beat Poetry Foundation Anthology

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Dina Stander

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(413) 237-1300

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