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Psychoanalysis of Poem «Two Scavengers in a Motortruck, Two Beautiful Citizenry in a Mercedes» by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Updated on Marching 2, 2019

Andrew Spaced-out


Andrew has a lancinate concern altogether aspects of verse and writes extensively on the issue. His poems are promulgated on-line and in impress.

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Lawrence Ferlinghetti | Beginning

Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Two Scavengers in a Motortruck, Two Beautiful Masses in a Mercedes

Two Scavengers in a Motortruck, Two Beautiful Masses in a Mercedes is a poem that highlights the deviation ‘tween two types of citizenry: the labour pathetic and the elect fertile.

The shot is an routine occurrent at a stoplight in downtown San Francisco but could be occurrent in any major metropolis of the earth – a red stoplight causes everyone to block, disregarding of condition, backwash, credo or sex. It’s at this detail that the poet pounces and details a microcosmic dichotomy.

Everyone has to stopover at the lights but not everyone is issue to the like ethnic and mixer conditioning, not everyone is of compeer position, peculiarly in the westerly humans where capitalism and republic formula.

So the poem becomes political and challenges the subscriber to entertain such themes as inequality, commonwealth, capitalism and grade divides.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti has farsighted been a political activistic and ethnical guru, portion to pundit publications of vanguard poesy and otc extremist lit expiration backrest to the former Fifties, when he open his far-famed Metropolis Lights bookstall in San Francisco.

He was implemental in acquiring Allen Ginsberg’s Wail into hold mannikin and became known for his counter-cultural activities which culminated in the fabled Summertime of Passion, 1967, a watershed adjoin up of hipsters and hipsters in the Haight Ashbury dominion of San Francisco.

Two Scavengers in a Motortruck, Two Beautiful Multitude in a Mercedes was commencement promulgated in 1968 and appeared in the volume Landscapes of Life and Death, 1979.

The poem’s briny motif reflects the mentality of the poet, who wrote this job in another volume, Poesy as Seditious Art:

‘Gainsay capitalism masquerading as republic’

By focussing on this cut of living in downtown San Francisco, the poet has brought to the aid of the lecturer the motivation to head political values and busyness measure. Ferlinghetti does this in a way that is dry and entertaining.

Two Scavengers in a Motortruck, Two Beautiful Mass in a Mercedes

Psychoanalysis of Two Scavengers in a Motortruck

Two Scavengers in a Motortruck, Two Beautiful Citizenry in a Mercedes juxtaposes two sets of multitude, a duet of labor garbagemen and an refined duo, unexpectedly brought unitedly by the random red lightness at a dealings articulation.

The poem revolves round this introductory base of mixer part and counterpoint, the loudspeaker at get-go describing the billet in a straight and organise style earlier elaborating on the mind that this sensed separate shouldn’t truly happen in a sizable republic.

What strikes the reviewer from the beginning contrast on is the fact that the verbalizer is in the salute, observant the execute as it happens. This is authoritative because it brings an immediateness to the poem and charges it up.

As the poem progresses it becomes open that sure lines are detached by much of quad, which causes the reviewer to hesitate, and that otc lines are content to enjambement, they retain on to the adjacent without punctuation.

In fact, punctuation does not caper a function in the syntax of this poem; it is capable the proofreader to determine when to intermission, to stopover, to retain on. Again, this can outdistance the referee but too introduces the estimation of exemption – miss of limitation brings chance.

Contempt the mastermind lyric, the conversational street lexicon and the daily bringing, thither is an documentary tone to this tale, this comment. Thither is no low individual view, no ‘I’ – it’s an neutral watching.

So the lines motley in distance, from 2 syllables to 13, from curt article to farsighted article, from soundbite to protracted condemn and a one-half. Quatern furcate stanzas (lines 1 – 9…10 – 15….16 – 30….31 – 37) highlight the red garbagemen, the lily-livered motortruck and the graceful mates in their clear top Mercedes.

Bill the nomenclature hither, the eminence – the workers are red, the duo graceful. The workers are suspension on, the duo are refined.

But too billet the satire. The match are silence refined, one nonchalantly coifed, the over-the-counter hip…but the workmen are sounding consume on them , as if they were the higher beings on the evolutionary ravel.

It’s the speech edubirdie.com again that sticks in the head as the poem progresses – the workmen are scavengers, grubby, one with grayish cast-iron hair’s-breadth, stooped backbone alike a Gargoyle Quasimodo. This terminus sounds nigh wish an revilement.

Scavengers fertilise and pee-pee a animation off of others who do the sidesplitting and taking for them so this is a definite disparaging watchword. And that sets up a tautness because hither we get populace servants doing a lively job for their community, glade up the methamphetamine, acquiring disembarrass waste that would differently movement disease and havoc for metropolis dwellers.

The dubiousness mightiness be asked – Why does the verbaliser use this condition, scavengers, as they expression polish on the refined match in their rattling hurt car?

The poem goes on to evoke that the two garbagemen see the wealthier mass as they would see a t.v. advertising…the estimation that the workers mightiness need to get the real masses they’re gazing at. The workers aim to be moneyed, as they desire to buy things (shining new big cars) when the t.v. ads approach.

And in the concluding stanza the whimsey that the quartet masses fillet for the red twinkle are all parting of the capitalistic arrangement comes to the bow. In the capitalistic commonwealth anything is potential – you can trace the American woolgather – but first you mustiness suit mindful of what is potential.

Is this what the talker is implying? In a organization that has riches innovation as its be all and end all, wishful thereto riches is forever potential? Level at a unglamorous dealings join poor can be elysian?

Or is the talker expression the paired? In a capitalistic commonwealth you’ll perpetually get winners and losers; those who bear to effort and get malodorous and last a low pay and those who are able-bodied to get more of the pie.

Beautiful citizenry are affluent, despicable masses are hapless? Is that a carnival presumption? Peradventure not.

The disparities in riches are inequitable but in a organisation where chapiter is mogul and commonwealth allows the iniquity to suit constitutional, the release commercialize is forever at combat with the world beneficial. Metaphorically the scheme is a sea – about gratefully can float or takings a sauceboat.

More Psychoanalysis of Two Scavengers in a Motortruck, Two Beautiful Masses in a Mercedes

Two Scavengers in a Motortruck, Two Beautiful Masses in a Mercedes is a release versify poem of 37 lines, thither is no set verse dodge or beat (measure in British English) and the construction is unorthodox, spread myopic and farsighted lines suggesting breakup.


On the varlet this poem stretches out, big indentations thought-provoking the lecturer to hold the stream exit as shortstop cable ends and foresighted job begins pursuit expanses of albumen.

This strange outline – big gaps ‘tween lines delivery foresighted pauses – reflects the oddity of the merging of the two vehicles. Unpleasant-smelling motortruck meets spick-and-span Mercedes, sweaty workmen peering at loaded, groomed duo.


The ambiance created in the poem is one of separated involvement and actual coverage. In fact this poem could deliver get heterosexual from a media newsperson, bountiful a track comment on this quotidian view, the phonation ascension approach the end as a rather orgasm is reached.


The terminology put-upon comes from the metropolis street, it is average, calculate and course identical American (stoplight, scraps, hip, raunchy).

Annotation that the match are graceful, hip and coifed whilst the garbagemen are scavengers, suggesting that they are masses who peck what others get odd arse, they are no meliorate than vultures or creatures that fertilise on carrion and over-the-counter unmentionables.

This creates a lifelike part inside the poem which echoes the existent disunite actually.

Figural Terminology in Two Scavengers in a Motortruck

Two Scavengers in a Motortruck, Two Beautiful in a Mercedes is based solidly in substantial clock but it besides contains figural speech which brings added sake for the proofreader as it creates option worlds.



When speech deliver the like concordant and are approximate they are aforementioned to be alliterative, producing grain and something 98 dissimilar for the referee.

standing on the rear bow

one on

nonchalantly coifed

brusque chick

coolheaded couplet

as if anything at all


When interchangeable looking vowels are approximate:

downtown/standing on the rachis/In a hip…linen/in…everything is…potential/rattling red/property…ending/


When one affair becomes another. In the terminal tercet lines commonwealth becomes the mellow seas, suggesting that it is content to knock-down forces.


When something is comparable another matter. One of the garbagemen is aforesaid to be similar approximately Gargoyle Quasimodo a extension to a chivalric lapidate pattern much minded an frightful or satanic role, as is Quasimodo, the suspicion binding created by author Winner Hugo in his volume The Crookback of Notre Bird.




Norton Anthology, Norton, 2005

© 2018 Andrew Spaced-out