Lawrence Ferlinghetti: Pictures of the Gone World



For almost five years this short book of poetry was never than a few feet from me The idea of Pocket Poetry was never seriously instantiated Lawrence Ferlinghetti remarked that whereas City Lights co founder Peter Martin was born into an anarchist family son of Carlos Tresca I was getting my anarchist ideas from Kenneth Rexroth adding that his poetry has become political with time One certainly gets the sense that his writing became political when reading Pictures of the Gone World in comparison with say Tyannus Nix or Time of Useful Consciousness or some of the poems from Americus I haven t read it all yet This isn t to say that there are not elements of this in early works such as Pictures of the Gone World the first work published in the City Lights Pocket Poets Series but it is not so pronounced yet Starting out as a painter and still a painter to this ay many of the poems in this collection have visually artistic themes Dada Picasso etc but one really gets the sense reading this that Ferlinghetti is here painting with words From the beginning poem Away above a harborfulof caulkless houses to the end the use of language is so rich and the poetry raws such vivid visual images This is found throughout but for me is best captured in such lines as his alabaster ideals in a summer of sauterellesits Published to celebrate forty years of City Lights publishing which began with the letterpress printing of this book in 1955It was Lawrence Ferlinghetti's first book and it has been reprinted twenty one times having.

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Uch as uotes from Cocteau Constantin Brancusi etc In sum a very fine early work from the singular and always enjoyable Lawrence Ferlinghetti Read in 1992 My favorite which I copied out and put on my apartment refrigeratorNumber 8It was a face which arkness could kill in an instant a face as easily hurt by laughter or light We think Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul Chicken Soup for the Soul differently at night she told me once lying back languidly And she would uote Cocteau I feel there is an angel in me she say whom I am constantly shocking Then she would smile and look away light a cigarette for me sigh and rise and stretch her sweet anatomy let fall a stocking They say Beat poetry is a lot like jazz and I think they have a point But the point I m going to make about jazz is specific and somewhat Kummer im Westen: Roman: 2 different East coast Beat verse compares to West Coast Beat verse like old East coast Jazz compares to old West coast Jazz East coasters are likely to be half madrug crazed experimenters wandering spirits and introspective soloists of the avant guard West coasters are likely to be outgoing comfortable with large groups and popular success and willing to keep the Golden Gates day jobIt s only fair to point out that Ferlinghetti was born in New York but after Chapel Hill the navyuring WW II graduate school at Columbia and a Gone doctorate from the Sorbonne he settledown at th. Y Island of the Mind and Pictures of the Gone World among numerous other books has been Outland: Der geheime Planet drawing from life since his studentays in Paris where he freuented the Academie Julien and where he id his first oil painti.

Ountains full of petalsand its river thrown ownthrough all the burnt placesof that almond world I saw couples going nude into the sad waterin the profound lasciviousness of springin an algebra of lyricismwhich I am still eciphering and Dada would have loved a ay like thiswith its light bulb sunwhich shines so Dapur Keris differentlyforifferent peoplebut which still shines the sameon everyone The Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly downside to this work is not really a flaw in itself but the fact that many of the poems and most of the best ones at that Truth is not the secret of a few In Paris in a loudark winter It was a face which Angel and the Flying Stallions Pony Club Secrets darkness could kill The world is a beautiful place one of my very favorites and Reading Yeats Io not think I had previously read in the Poems from Pictures of the Gone World section of A Coney Island of the Mind another excellent collection But there are some others here that I can happily say I have Una triste aventura de 14 sabios discovered for the first time Of these I most enjoyed Heaven and Dada would have liked aay like this Those that I already had familiarity with I was still happy to revisitAs with later Ferlinghetti works there are elements of politics and anarchism though not necessarily as pronounced as we find later on a beautiful world painted in words an evocation of the past and an appropriation of phrases and ideas by others Never been out of print The original edition contained the first twenty seven poems to which the author has now added eighteen new versesLawrence Ferlinghetti poet and founder of City Lights Books author of A Cone.

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Allen Ginsberg’s Howl Other Poems in 1956 led to his arrest on obscenity charges and the trial that followed drew national attention to the San Francisco Renaissance and Beat movement writers He was overwhelmingly supported by prestigious literary and academic figures and was acuitted This landmark First Amendment case established a legal precedent for the publication of controversial work with redeeming social importanceFerlinghetti’s paintings have been shown at various galleries around the world from the Butler Museum of American Painting to Il Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome He has been associated with the international Fluxus movement through the Archivio Francesco Conz in Verona He has toured Italy giving poetry readings in Roma Napoli Bologna Firenze Milano Verona Brescia Cagliari Torino Venezia and Sicilia He won the Premio Taormino in 1973 and since then has been awarded the Premio Camaiore the Premio Flaiano the Premio Cavour among others He is published in Italy by Oscar Mondadori City Lights Italia and Minimum Fax He was instrumental in arranging extensive poetry tours in Italy produced by City Lights Italia in Firenze He has translated from the Italian Pier Paolo Pasolin’s Poemi Romani which is published by City Lights Books In San Francisco his work can regularly be seen at the George Krevsky Gallery at 77 Geary StreetFerlinghetti’s A Coney Island of the Mind continues to be the most popular poetry book in the US It has been translated into nine languages and there are nearly 1000000 copies in print The author of poetry plays fiction art criticism and essays he has a dozen books currently in print in the US and his work has been translated in many countries and in many languages His most recent books are A Far Rockaway of the Heart 1997 How to Paint Sunlight 2001 and Americus Book I 2004 published by New DirectionsHe has been the recipient of numerous prizes including the Los Angeles Times’ Robert Kirsch Award the BABRA Award for Lifetime Achievement the National Book Critics Circle Ivan Sandrof Award for Contribution to American Arts and Letters the American Civil Liberties Union’s Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award Ferlinghetti was named San Francisco’s Poet Laureate in August 1998