Poetry as Insurgent Art

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New Directions Publishing, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 90 pages
4 Reviews
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 cliched: "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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - finalbroadcast - LibraryThing

Kerouac's On the Road supposedly defined the beat generation. It's patron publisher, Lawrence Ferlinghetti was the force behind City Lights, and an impressive poet in his own right. Poetry as ... Read full review

Review: Poetry as Insurgent Art

User Review  - Talia - Goodreads

Revised through the decades and relevent today. I plan on referring to it often when I teach writing. I read through it twice and loaned it to a fellow student-teacher. Read full review

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Poetry As Insurgent Art
What is Poetry?
Populist Manifesto 1 1976
Populist Manifesto 2 1978
Modern Poetry Is Prose 1978
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About the author (2007)

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.

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