This edition of THE DREAM AND DRINK OF FREEDOM is a second one, the greater part of the first edition having been burned in 1952 during the McCarthy period. Selected poems have been added to the original, so that the poetry here spans the years between 1942 and 1986.
In an informative foreword provided by Kathelin Hoffman, the reader of THE DREAM AND DRINK OF FREEDOM learns that Johnny Dolphin left home for the first time at the age of 14, and that he has been traveling since. As a young man he lived and worked in Oklahoma, California, New York and Chicago, to name a few. After JFK’s assassination, he left the U.S. to live in Africa, in Asian, and in war-torn Vietnam, where he divided his time between Buddhist scholarship and stringing for a news correspondent in Saigon. When he finally returned to the U.S. it was with a different perspective than the one he left with—as well as with an unequivocal vision for both his own future and the planet’s. This vision was especially clear regarding his two great loves, science and art, and it was followed by one of the most creative periods in Dolphin’s life; he began to write plays, founded a theater company and began a series of ecological projects that continue to this day.
The poetry in THE DREAM AND DRINK OF FREEDOM is divided into six sections, with each one alluding not only to a period in Dolphin’s life but to a period in history as well. Dolphin’s work is influenced by Blake, Whitman, Joyce, Burroughs, Brecht, Baudelaire, Mayakovsky, and Khayyam. Collectively, the poetry is so restless, energetic, and intense that it truly shimmers on the page.