Saturday, May 9, 2009

Poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

This was my Poem of the Day from -- a great source of reading contemporary poetry, which is definitely one of my weak points as I usually hang out with the poets of long ago. At least I've heard of Lawrence Ferlinghetti as one of the "Beat" poets along with Ginsburg and others who developed City Lights, so he's not exactly contemporary. (But much closer than those I usually read!)

Overall, I am enjoying reading some very intriguing poets. And one of the best ways to grow as a poet is to read more poetry, especially that of our contemporaries.

Poetry as Insurgent Art by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I am signaling you through the flames.

The North Pole is not where it used to be.

Manifest Destiny is no longer manifest.

Civilization self-destructs.

Nemesis is knocking at the door.

What are poets for, in such an age? What is the use of poetry?

The state of the world calls out for poetry to save it.

If you would be a poet, create works capable of answering the challenge of apocalyptic times, even if this meaning sounds apocalyptic.

You are Whitman, you are Poe, you are Mark Twain, you are Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay, you are Neruda and Mayakovsky and Pasolini, you are an American or a non-American, you can conquer the conquerors with words....

Such wonderful encouragement for us who write poetry, isn't it? To challenge the downfall of the world through our words. What a challenge!

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