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Pictures of the Gone World (City Lights Pocket Poets Series) Paperback – January 1, 2001

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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  • Pictures of the Gone World (City Lights Pocket Poets Series)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

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-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder® --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

A prominent voice of the wide-open poetry movement that began in the 1950s, Lawrence Ferlinghetti has written poetry, translation, fiction, theater, art criticism, film narration, and essays. Often concerned with politics and social issues, Ferlinghetti's poetry countered the literary elite's definition of art and the artist's role in the world. He is the author of A Coney Island of the Mind, America's most popular book of poetry, and most recently, Time of Useful Consciousness. He is also a lifelong painter and publisher, and the co-founder and owner of City Lights Booksellers and Publishers in San Francisco, California.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: City Lights Pocket Poets Series (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 45 pages
  • Publisher: City Lights Publishers; Rep Sub edition (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872863034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872863033
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.3 x 6.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #986,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This has to be my favorite volume of poetry to date (yet I am still young and have much to read). I found it "refreshing" and "light" if you will, yet at the same time
taking on some real insight. My favorite poems in the volume include "Heaven"; which I take as almost a poetic criticism OF poetry, and "London"; which takes on issues of physical beauty. All the poems in here I enjoy immensely. Well worth your small investment. (Plus it has historic value being the first in the legendary Pocket Poets
Series.
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Here we have it: the first book in the mostly-OOP Pocket Poets series by Ferlinghetti's SF-based City Lights publishing house, and Ferlinghetti's own first book of poems, arguably just as good as A Coney Island of the Mind (which, actually, can be said of almost all Ferlinghetti's books of poetry. High class, all over the place). Ferlinghetti, Whitman's 20th-century successor, the "new" poet for the common man (and woman!), and an adorable old guy (still kickin' at 89! still readin' and writin' pomes), semi-member of the Beat scene, definite member of the SF Renaissance, gives us 27 (or 45 if you picked it up after '95) of his precious, wise-for-his-age (born: 1919; published: 1955) free-verse observations.

This 'nik is famous for his cut up style, a style that adds to the intended jazziness of the lines, all intended to be spoken out loud. A favorite of mine, only available here (a number are reprinted in his more famous Coney Island) deals with vanity: number #17, or "London," and goes like this (keep in mind, I can't accurately copy the structure of the poem here, severely--no! slightly!
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Format: Paperback
I am embarassed to say that I picked this book up on my last visit to City Lights (several years ago) but I never actually read it. Other than for a piece or two in an anthology, I had never read Ferlinghetti, period. Having enjoyed the hospitality of the upstairs poetry room, that seemed somehow ill-mannered of me.
Simply put, I liked this collection. The images and meanings are more subtle than a lot of poets with Beat roots. He can really paint a word picture to put you in the scene. You instantly soak up the nuances of the whole. Then maybe he'll nudge you, ever so slightly, into seeing the absurdity in it. Or perhaps he'll interject a reminder of your own mortality in a simular subtle way. It is appropriate that one of the poems deals with Edward Hopper. I get that Hopperesque quality of an observer in an existential urban landscape with much of the collection.
About the only difference that I detected from the first 27 poems (written by 1955) and the 18 new ones (new in 1995) is a difference in rhythm. The older poems have much more of that classic coffee house beat- at least in my head. Of yes, he also uses the term "cyberpunk" in one of them.... But the word painting, and sense of subtle absurdity, is still right on the money.
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