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A Coney Island of the Mind: Poems Paperback – January 17, 1968
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Top Customer Reviews
This is largely a verbal collage, a compendium of memories, impressions, chants, lists, and lyric fragments. The influence of Whitman is apparent in the freeform meditations on the human body and the populist tone of much of the book. This is a cry for people to throw off the constraints of materialism and return to a simpler way of living. It exalts the earth over industry, art over commerce, individualism over uniformity. In other places the shadows of Eliot and Yeats can be seen; indeed in a couple of poems Ferlinghetti freely borrows from those masters - see "The Junkman'Obbligato", for instance, which echoes Eliot's "The Waste Land" with the repeated refrain "Hurry please it's time."
The book is divided into three sections. There is the title section then a series of seven pieces (including "Junkman") originally written for musical accompaniment and finally some selections from Ferlinghetti's first book PICTURES OF THE GONE WORLD.
Not for all tastes but seminal nevertheless and eye-opening as well.
I believe we grow old not because of time, but what we do or don't do with our time. We let our beliefs become rigid, we let our attitudes harden, we forget what it was like to be flexible and youthful and optimistic about life.
This book opens the mind. It expands the heart. It flows through the soul like honey and lets the "imprisoned splendor" escape through the cracks of the entire psyche. I would suggest reading this book by candlelight with maybe some Lee Morgan or John Coltrane in the background.
It's a book of prayers written by a Beat Priest and every day I thank God that I came across that poem I mentioned earlier in this review it changed my life in a million ways known as well as unknown.
If you are looking for something to bring you to a place of youthful vigor, give this book a try. Remember it's never to late to have a great life.
Peace & Blessings
--Justin Laird Weaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I cannot recommend this book any more highly. Buy this right now. Buy a few copies and give them to friends and family. I certainly have.
Ferlinghetti developed his own style of poetry that's (to paraphrase) not constrained by the limits of the poetic line. It's all over the place, in form and in content. This is his seminal work, and the modern version even contains the best from his previous: Pictures of the Gone World.
He has a sensibility for the turn of a phrase, as we see with "The poet's eye obscenely seeing" and "cast up / the heart flops over / gasping 'Love'. He is in tune with the alienation of the modern age, and although he's far from a "people person", his quiet insights have proven inspiring and invaluable.
His next-best work is probably "starting from san francisco", which contains my favorite poem, "overpopulation" (an oft-overlooked, but great piece of poetry to read aloud). This one, however, is a must-read if you're into a populist aesthetic for poetry. If you like poetry that you can read on fifteen different levels, and isn't really saying anything, this is NOT the book for you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is amazing when you break it down. It was hard for me to figure out, considering, I am a 90’s baby. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sarah gray
Back in the 60s, I carried Ferlinghetti's poetry with me as I traveled the country from the East Coast to a commune in New Mexico and the SDS house in Lawrence, Kansas. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mary Harper
This is one of the great poetry classics of the 20th century. I shared it with high school students, only a few of whom were even alive during the 20th century. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Ferlinghetti remains as readable as he was when I was a Village denizen in the early 50's.Published 4 months ago by Torus34
This magical collection of Ferlinghetti's rare gift of gently pealing back the layers of life's distortions that make.our perception difficult and we we left. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Lee Swan