Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Secret Meaning of Things” as Want to Read:
The Secret Meaning of Things
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Secret Meaning of Things

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  183 ratings  ·  9 reviews
These poems show a progressive continuity and clarity of perception that apprehends both the hard reality and luminous irreality in everyday phenomena.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published December 1st 1968 by New Directions Publishing Corporation (first published 1967)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Secret Meaning of Things, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Secret Meaning of Things

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 349)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Some thoughts in lieu of a real review.....

-- Cliche, but possibly powerful title.

-- Nice rhythyms.

-- The thing with beat poetry, for me, is that I wish I was hearing it as I read it. In some cases, this destroys the reading. In Ferlinghetti's case, it is still strong enough in written form, but you can tell that there is a musical diction underneath that you need to hear to fully feel.

-- A very quick read. Interesting to read in this current political climate.

-- Why do I value a "quick read?" W
Tim Weakley
I do not pretend to understand even half of what there is to see in poetry. I really do believe that a lot of it is only perceived by the poet.

I did enjoy this short book though. I think my favourite piece was Moscow in the Wilderness, Segovia in the snow. When you can get phrases like:

I am your ruin
unique & immortal
I am your happiness unknown
I am light
where you are dark
where you are heavy

There was some great imagery in this book.
Apr 03, 2012 Kate rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
One of my fav beat poets!
Another strong volume of poetry from Ferlinghetti. Ferlinghetti and Jack Micheline are probably my two favourite beat poets. Gregory Corso comes a very close third.
Although not as strong as the spectacular Coney Island of the Mind or the criminally underrated Pictures from the Gone World, this fourth book by Ferlinghetti, The Secret Meaning of Things, continues to offer us readers deep insights into one of the great minds of the 21st Century...and on LSD, at that!
His poem 'After the cries of t
This one is no Coney Island, but still the Ferlinghetti that I love. I love how Ferlinghetti writes as though he invented writng, adding little notes like "Writ on the back of a map of Harvard College" at the end of "Bickford's Buddha." And "Assassination Raga" is moving.
Ferlinghetti never disappoints, I loved this and I love his work in general. One of my favorite poets.
There was quite a bit I liked in his style but some of the poems didn't translate for me 50 years later. I'll seek out more of his work.
The poems in this collection are okay, but are not my favorite. 'Coney Island of the Mind' is the best collection of Ferlinghetti's work, in my opinion, followed by 'Poetry as Insurgent Art.'
Jul 24, 2010 Relyn rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to Relyn by: Billy Collins
Blech! Can I just say YUCK?
Ioana Moronka
Ioana Moronka marked it as to-read
Nov 23, 2015
alexandra turcu
alexandra turcu marked it as to-read
Nov 23, 2015
Renee is currently reading it
Nov 18, 2015
Bogumila marked it as to-read
Nov 17, 2015
A added it
Nov 08, 2015
Aleks marked it as to-read
Oct 26, 2015
abcdefg marked it as to-read
Oct 07, 2015
Adam marked it as to-read
Oct 06, 2015
Darbi marked it as to-read
Sep 26, 2015
Barbra Doležalová
Barbra Doležalová marked it as to-read
Sep 05, 2015
Dyalmis Izquierdo
Dyalmis Izquierdo marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2015
Christopher marked it as to-read
Aug 03, 2015
Sosa marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2015
Maggie Ide
Maggie Ide marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2015
Phillip marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Reality Sandwiches
  • Selected Poems
  • The Happy Birthday of Death
  • Never
  • Harvest Poems: 1910-1960
  • Shroud of the Gnome
  • Ring of Fire
  • Fear of Dreaming: The Selected Poems
  • The Book of Folly
  • Selected Verse: Revised Bilingual Edition
  • What Is This Thing Called Love: Poems
  • Seventh Heaven
  • The Albertine Workout
  • Naked Came the Stranger
  • Selected Poems
  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Jack Kerouac: Angelheaded Hipster
  • Selected Poems
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. Though imbued with the commonplace, his poetry canno ...more
More about Lawrence Ferlinghetti...

Share This Book