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Poetry As Insurgent Art Hardcover – May 12 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Short and inspiring, but rarely surprising, this collection of remarks, aphorisms and exhortations about the nature and purpose of poetry began in the late 1950s, when Ferlinghetti was just coming into his own as a Beat poet and publisher of City Lights Books. After 50 years of revisions and additions, his claims may not strike experienced readers as fresh—and some may even seem clichéd: The state of the world, his first page declares, calls out for poetry to save it. On the other hand, Ferlinghetti's very large body of fans (he is one of the bestselling 20th-century American poets) should find reason and justice in these eternal verities, couched in up-to-date lingo: Poems are e-mails from the unknown beyond cyberspace, for example. Beginning teachers of creative writing should also find Ferlinghetti's instructions of use: Read between the lines of human discourse. Two groups of aphorisms make up most of the volume, to which Ferlinghetti adds a short essay and two 1970s poems. Modern Poetry Is Prose encourages young writers to discover the dark spirit of earth and blood; Populist Manifesto #1 hopes Whitman's wild children, however pressed down by modernity, will soon Awake and sing in the open air. (Sept.)
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About the Author
The poet, publisher, and activist Lawrence Ferlinghetti, born in Yonkers, New York, in 1919, has received the Robert Frost Memorial Medal and the first Literarian Award of the National Book Foundation. He is the subject of Christopher Felver’s new film documentary, Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If you would be a poet, create works capable of answering the challenge of apocalyptic times, even if this means sounding apocalyptic.
If you call yourself a poet, sing it, don't state it.
Bring together again the telling of a tale and the living voice.
Be a teller of great tales, even the darkest.
Don't pander, especially not to audiences, readers, editors, or publishers.
Why listen to critics who have not themselves written great masterpieces?
Don't put down the scholastics who say a poem should have wholeness, harmony, radiance, truth, beauty, goodness.
Don't ever believe poetry is irrelevant in dark times.
What are poets for, in such an age? What is the use of poetry?
Nemesis is knocking at the door.
Your life is your poetry. If you have no heart, you'll write lifeless poetry.
Poetry is the last lighthouse in rising seas.
Needless to say, his little gem of a book is HIGHLY recommended.