tex norman's Reviews > A Coney Island of the Mind

A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
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Feb 05, 11

bookshelves: poetry

I give A Coney Island of the Mind four stars because of the influience of Lawerence Ferlinghetti. He shattered that then generally held belief that poetry rhymes, it has a fixed meter, and it had to exalt nature or some trait or event worthy of celebration. Ferlinghetti made it possible for poetry to be easy to understand. Understandable poetry seems like such a logical goal, but most of Thomas Dylan's work tells us that easy to understand was not that common in poetry. Esoteric poetry lead to people hating poetry. Ferlinghetti wrote stuff and young adults and high school word nerds like me read this stuff and said, "I could do that." And we could. My complaint about Ferlinghetti is that he seems to say things just to be shocking, or odd. Ferlinghetti also seems to just scatters the words a stanza breaks like they wer jacks case on the sidewalk. There is no reason for this scattering of words other than to make it clear, MY POETRY IS NOT LIKE THE POETRY YOU STUDIED IN SCHOOL. If you are a poet, or a wantabe poet you need to read Ferlinghetti. This guy gets lumped with the BEAT poets, and if that is an appropriate lumping, well, he was one of the BEAT BEST.
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