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Americus, Book I

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  72 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
In less than a year, Lawrence Ferlinghetti won a lifetime achievement award from the Author's Guild, received the Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America, was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and celebrated the 50th anniversary of his renowned City Lights Bookstore. Now, instead of resting on these many laurels, the elder statesman of American po ...more
Hardcover, 90 pages
Published July 30th 2004 by New Directions Publishing Corporation (first published April 2004)
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Jan 29, 2013 Ben rated it it was amazing
The 2003 precursor to 2013's Time of Useful Consciousness, the daydream style poetry in Americus I has been described by Lawrence Ferlinghetti as "part documentary, part public pillow-talk, part personal epic--a descant, a canto unsung, a banal history, a true fiction, lyric and political," combining "universal texts, snatches of song, words or phrases, murmuring of love or hate . . . that haunt our nocturnal imagination." All this is true and the tone of the work is set with the opening line, d ...more
Jul 12, 2008 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lovely book. Written at the age of 84, Mr. Ferlinghetti is astonishing. When you are writing at 84, you can by and large do whatever you want, and he does that here, blending together all sorts of things to create an intriguing poem. There are little passages referencing Kerouac here and there in the work and they are very moving. There are also a few quotations from Thomas Wolfe that always give one pause with the power and haunting beauty. Lawrence: long may you run.
Po Po
Apr 29, 2014 Po Po rated it liked it
Started off great, then went downhill fast, with each page becoming duller than the last.

Also, I didn't like the stream of consciousness, aka I'm-too-cool-for-punctuation. Please use commas, semi-colons and periods...

I guess when you're old and popular, you can pull just about anything out of your wrinkly ass and people think it's brilliant.
Jul 28, 2007 Steven rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves
Completely slept on book which starts out as typical Ferlinghetti then gets really really good i.e. Lawrence Ferlinghetti got his swagger back and I think it's one of the most important book-length poems to be published.
Mar 30, 2008 James rated it it was amazing
This book blew me away. Ferlinghetti describes America and all we brought with us from the old world in short, perfect poetry. So compact and powerful that it overwhelmed me every few stanzas. A great work.
Jan 08, 2008 Tracy rated it it was amazing
got this as a gift a few years ago. i read and read this one every few months. thought provoking.
Cooper Renner
Feb 24, 2016 Cooper Renner rated it liked it
Ferlinghetti 's early books are the most enjoyable of the ones I've read, but this semi-memoir and political commentary is often fine as well.
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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
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“Poetry is eternal graffiti written in the heart of everyone.” 1434 likes
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