“In late November [1961], Ferlinghetti wrote a personal letter to Merton as a friend, apologizing for not being in touch with him over the past month or two. He continued to fear that Merton would be in trouble with his Superiors for contributing to a 'beatnik' magazine. He also apologized that many of the poets hadn’t wanted to commit themselves to anything that might have the appearance of being too political. Ten years later he would expand on those thoughts in his poem, 'Populist Manifesto,' which begins with the lines:

“ 'Poets, come out of your closets,
Open your windows, open your doors,
You have been holed-up too long
in your closed worlds.'

“He went on to scold everyone for chanting while Rome burns. He believed it was almost too late to do anything about the major problems of mankind.

“ 'The hour of oming is over,
the time for keening come,
time for keening & rejoicing
over the coming end
of industrial civilization
which is bad for earth & Man.”