Kamis, 19 November 2009

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Last year, I bought Lawrence Ferlinghett's Poetry as Insurgent Art at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco. It's full of statements that feel like aphorisms, some of which seem a little too simple. But they are fun to read, and the book is the sort of thing one can pick up and consume quickly in one sitting, or, as I sometimes do, pick up and browse one or two pages at a time. Last night, unable to commit to a new book, I read it all again. It's also been several days (oh let's not count) since I've started a new poem, and so I feel restless and unsatisfied. Ferlinghetti's book is the just the thing for these times. Here are some highlights, all quoted directly from the book:

Your language must sing, with or without rhyme, to justify it being in the typography of poetry.

Your life is your poetry. If you have no heart, you'll write heartless poems.

Can you imagine Shelley attending a poetry workshop?

Pursue the White Whale but don't harpoon it. Catch its song instead.

Write short poems in the voice of birds.

And this, from the section titled, "What is Poetry?"

It is private solitude made public.

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