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Poetry as Insurgent Art Hardcover – September 1, 2007


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Poetry as Insurgent Art + A Coney Island of the Mind: Poems + Howl and Other Poems (City Lights Pocket Poets, No. 4)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 90 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; First Edition edition (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811217191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811217194
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #501,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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.

More About the Author

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet and founder of City Lights Books, author of A Coney Island of the Mind and Pictures of the Gone World, among numerous other books, has been drawing from life since his student days in Paris where he frequented the Academie Julien and where he did his first oil painting.

Customer Reviews

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Buy extra copies for your friends and loves, for this is essential reading.
Amy Talent
This book may contain only thoughts from the poet and two of his lengthy poems, but it is a great addition to my Ferlinghetti collection.
Annie_Bodiford
When I am feeling down and out and uninspired I can pick up this book and read a few pages and it truly gives me a "rebirth of wonder."
Let there be good music

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By S. Ihadi on November 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
More bon mots from the old bard of San Francisco. To this day Ferlinghetti gets confused for a Beat poet. He is in fact a Bohemian poet and artist who only published the Beats. In this book his words are few but to the point. You want to keep this in your back pocket at all times. Who knows when you're gonna need some emergency wisdom!? He is one of the best poets alive and the title of Lawrence of America is well-earned for a man who single-handedly changed the literary landscape of this country. Thank you Lawrence! May the lights of all the cities of the world shine upon you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amy Talent on March 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Ferlinghetti's little book is full of big inspiration. It is a call to take poetry off the page and live the words. Buy extra copies for your friends and loves, for this is essential reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Darrell Grizzle on January 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This great little book - small enough to carry in one's back pocket, like a New Testament or the Little Red Book of Chairman Mao - is my new Manifesto. "Poetry deconstructs power. Absolute poetry deconstructs absolutely." Happy deconstructing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steve R on November 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of our generation's great poets (actually a few of our generations, as the man is 95 now), that is, one who lifts his voice to all humankind with words of vision--if not true spiritual vision (for who but Christ gives that?), then vision of the use of the art in such times as are upon us presently. I put it like this, "The burden of Art, especially Poetry, is the establishment - and defense - of Human reality." But I like Ferlinghetti's many pithy sayings and profound insights into the art, in *Poetry As Insurgent Art* - at least as much as my own; here are just a few of his:

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.

[End Ferlinghetti]
_________

Needless to say, his little gem of a book is HIGHLY recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Let there be good music on August 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is made of pure inspiration. When I am feeling down and out and uninspired I can pick up this book and read a few pages and it truly gives me a "rebirth of wonder." This great book is like a jolt of life straight to the soul. If you are shopping and having any sort of trepidation about whether or not to buy this book BUY IT! You won't regret it. You will be reading and quoting from this book for the rest of your life. 'Poetry as Insurent Art' is a modern masterpiece. Any time you are feeling drained of inspiration or simply down-and-out and depressed just read a few pages of this book and you'll be cured. It will give you a much needed shot of life. This is one of the few truly great books of poetry. I swear by this book, this masterpiece, this generator of inspiration.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rock on December 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ferlinghetti leads with powerful words and images, calling poets and humans in general to live life fully and engaged. I have used much of this in my writing classes. Good advice, and poetry, for anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brenton E. Mackinnon on June 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No whimps please. This mature and professional tour de force, details the good and bad and the ugly efforts to produce a poem .......by we Americans.
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