Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful People in a Mercedes

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"Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful People in a Mercedes" is a poem by American poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti.[1] Up until 2010, the poem was studied by English school children as part of the GCSE AQA Anthology.


The poem describes four people stuck at traffic lights in downtown San Francisco - two are garbage collectors and two are an elegant couple in a Mercedes. The poem is about the contrast between these people and the gap that is developing between the rich and poor even in the USA which is meant to be a 'democracy'.[1][2] The description of the couple as "Beautiful People" is perhaps ironic as the term was first used to describe those had held countercultural ideals during the 1960s.[2] The poem questions whether America can be called a democracy given the disparities in wealth between those, rich and poor.[2]


  1. ^ a b "GCSE Bitesize - Lawrence Ferlinghetti: Two Scavengers in a Truck". BBC. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  2. ^ a b c Andrew Moore. "Different Cultures-AQA Anthology for GCSE". Retrieved 2009-08-20. 

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