Wednesday, September 12, 2007

poetry as insurgent art

i work 2 blocks away from my favorite used bookstore, which is dangerous. i'm' going to have to seriously regulate my visits there. anyway, i saw this poem being handed out. it's by Lawrence Ferlinghetti who, apparently is a san francisco/beat poet icon. he's doing a reading next week. i'm there.

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
means sounding apocalyptic.

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

If you would be a poet, write living
newspapers. Be a reporter from outer space,
filing dispatches to some supreme
managing editor who believes in full
disclosure and has a low tolerance for

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