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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice overview of City Lights poets, but selection problems
This is a pleasingly slick and blocky hardbacked volume offering a nice sampling of every single one of City Lights' pocket poet editions. But I think the selection could be better.

First, and perhaps predictably, the Beats, and above all Ginsberg, get too much space. Not only does Ginsberg have multiple books in the series, he often gets many poems from each...
Published on August 24, 2005 by CK Dexter Haven

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some great poems, but many of them left me cold
Some excellent poems, a lot that didn't really touch me.

Really appreciate the work of City Lights and love Lawrence Ferlinghetti, but covers a vast, vast range.

Cool book to browse to discover new poets, but prefer reading chapbooks with more of a theme and time.

Poetry omnibuses tend to be too much.

One of my favorites in the...
Published on February 8, 2012 by Edmund Davis


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice overview of City Lights poets, but selection problems, August 24, 2005
This review is from: City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology (Hardcover)
This is a pleasingly slick and blocky hardbacked volume offering a nice sampling of every single one of City Lights' pocket poet editions. But I think the selection could be better.

First, and perhaps predictably, the Beats, and above all Ginsberg, get too much space. Not only does Ginsberg have multiple books in the series, he often gets many poems from each book, while other poets only get one. It's very hard to get a real sense for poets who are new to you--and thus to decide if you want to explore them further--from a single poem. Some of the imbalances are mind-boggling. Corso gets one sole poem, while Kerouac (not a BAD poet, but certainly not a great one) gets eight?!

Second, Ferlinghetti seems undecided on the nature of the volume--is it supposed to represent the best poems in the series, or is it a nostalgic history trip? This is most evident in the selections from Ginsberg--which often appear to have been picked simply because they offer explicit or implicit elegies for each of Ginsberg's famous Beat pals. Many of the Ginsberg selections are pretty disposable--yet his best poems, "America" and "Supermarket in California," are left out, and only part II and the footnote of "Howl" are included.

That said, it's nice to get an easy introduction to City Light's offerings beyond the Beats, that's really the book's best feature. There are many wonderful poems by Kenneth Patchen, a perfect pick of O'Hara, as well as Prevert, Nicanor Parra, Norse, even Picasso, Brecht, and Mayakovsky. It makes me wish they had just trimmed the beats out entirely--or given them their own separate City Lights anthology--so we could get a better taste of the others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some great poems, but many of them left me cold, February 8, 2012
This review is from: City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology (Hardcover)
Some excellent poems, a lot that didn't really touch me.

Really appreciate the work of City Lights and love Lawrence Ferlinghetti, but covers a vast, vast range.

Cool book to browse to discover new poets, but prefer reading chapbooks with more of a theme and time.

Poetry omnibuses tend to be too much.

One of my favorites in the book is Jack Kerouac's "Hymn."

Worthwhile, but found myself browsing a lot of the poems/poets that interested me less.

Poetry is easily one of the most individual of arts, everyone is affected differently.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overrated?, December 14, 2007
This review is from: City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology (Hardcover)
I think this book is quite a bit overrated. People speak about this book gushing with sappiness. I guess I should make it clear at this point that I'm not really a big fan of this style of poetry. I think beatnik prose can be pretty good and pretty poetic, but I tend to be a little leary about beatnik literature that is explicitly poetry. Make no mistake about it, there is some good material in here, including some of Mr. Ferlinghetti's stuff and some of Kerouac's and Ginsberg's typical stuff. However, overall, I wouldn't say I'm too impressed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Christmas Gift, February 23, 2014
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B. J. Brown (Waukee, IA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology (Hardcover)
I purchased this book for my oldest nephew for Christmas. He said this was the book he like the best out of the 5 I got him. He said he like the Spanish poetry about love, etc.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The beat generation poetry anthology to get, October 8, 2012
This review is from: City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology (Hardcover)
City Lights press was of course the major publisher of the mid-century American poetry arising from the movement known as the "beat generation," including such authors as Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Bob Kaufman, and City Lights publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Beat poetry isn't to everyone's taste, but there's no denying that it was one of the most socially significant and influential literary movements in modern America. This anthology is a sampler: it doesn't attempt to collect the best or most important poems of this sort, but rather to give a wide view of the nature and variety of what these poets (including some relatively little known ones) produced. As such, it's an excellent introduction for readers who want to know what beat poetry is all about, and will also be of value to people who already know and like this poetry.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beat book, April 11, 2003
This review is from: City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology (Hardcover)
A wonderful and portable collection of poems about being on the go and experiencing life to its fullest.
Captures the true beat essence in delightful and sundry ways.
A rare joy in the world of poetry.
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City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology
City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Hardcover - April 1, 2008)
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