Richard Brautigan

(January 30, 1935 – September 14, 1984 / Tacoma, Washington)

Part 1 Of Trout Fishing In America - Poem by Richard Brautigan



The cover for Trout Fishing in America is a photograph taken

late in the afternoon, a photograph of the Benjamin Franklin

statue in San Francisco's Washington Square.

Born 1706--Died 1790, Benjamin Franklin stands on a

pedestal that looks like a house containing stone furniture.

He holds some papers in one hand and his hat in the other.

Then the statue speaks, saying in marble:








Around the base of the statue are four words facing the

directions of this world, to the east WELCOME, to the west

WELCOME, to the north WELCOME, to the south WELCOME.

Just behind the statue are three poplar trees, almost leafless

except for the top branches. The statue stands in front

of the middle tree. All around the grass is wet from the

rains of early February.

In the background is a tall cypress tree, almost dark like

a room. Adlai Stevenson spoke under the tree in 1956, before

a crowd of 40, 000 people.

There is a tall church across the street from the statue

with crosses, steeples, bells and a vast door that looks like

a huge mousehole, perhaps from a Tom and Jerry cartoon,

and written above the door is 'Per L'Universo.'

Around five o'clock in the afternoon of my cover for

Trout Fishing in America, people gather in the park across

the street from the church and they are hungry.

It's sandwich time for the poor.

But they cannot cross the street until the signal is given.

Then they all run across the street to the church and get

their sandwiches that are wrapped in newspaper. They go

back to the park and unwrap the newspaper and see what their

sandwiches are all about.

A friend of mine unwrapped his sandwich one afternoon

and looked inside to find just a leaf of spinach. That was all.

Was it Kafka who learned about America by reading the

autobiography of Benjamin Franklin..............

Kafka who said, 'I like the Americans because they are healthy

and optimistic.'

Comments about Part 1 Of Trout Fishing In America by Richard Brautigan

  • Brian Jani (5/9/2014 2:38:00 PM)

    Richard Wow I enjoyed your poem well written (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: fishing, america, tree, people, house, friend, dark, world, fish, girl, running

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Monday, January 30, 2012

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