The hippie trail


tracing the past forever…

When the hippies started moving
in the 60s, revolutionizing all the world
with love and beauty, music and perception
it was thought to be all new,
but it was only a renewal.
The idea is easily traced back,
and first among the hippies
is considered the Norwegian Heyerdahl,
who later crossed all seas on rafts
to prove how ancient civilizations linked together.
He wrote ‘Fatuhiva’, the true story of his hippie life
together with his wife in the south seas
in radical refutal of all civilization,
living actually like Robinson Crusoe.
That was back in the thirties,
but still he was not the first one.
Early in the century there was a hippie colony
at Monte Veritá in Switzerland close to Ascona,
where brave pioneers tried out a different life style
cultivating their own food and vegetables,
living primitively outside civilization.
One of them was the pacifist writer Erich Maria Remarque.
Before that you had the Tolstoyans in old Russia,
striving for a similar free life of purity under the sun
led and inspired by the writings of Leo Tolstoy,
who left his property himself in preference of poverty,
but there were many similar communities long before that.
They actually were always there throughout all history.
The monastery movement of the middle ages
rose from such traditions, like the sect of the Essenes
who brought forth Jesus, but Hezekiel the prophet
and in Hellas the Pythagoreans were already of that kind,
and before that you had the Asian monastery movement
of the Buddhists, which continues still today,
and long before that…..

© aurelio 2023
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I find it hard to see this as a poem, though I suppose a poem is anything that its author says is a poem, but as a brief essay on alternative lifestyles it’s quite interesting. You left out the Diggers of the 17th century who I think were not only the first ‘intentional community’ in the modern sense but also the first socialists with a worked-out programme for social change. But maybe that isn’t what you mean by a hippie revolution. There are many elements you could draw out, such as hedonism, anarchism (refusal to recognise leaders) a cooperative lifestyle… Read more »


David perhaps you know that word as refutation. This is what the freedictionary says: “ref·u·ta·tion (rĕf′yo͝o-tā′shən) also re·fut·al (rĭ-fyo͞ot′l)”.

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