He’s Still Waiting!

 

“A Brave Man and a Brave Poet.”-Bob Dylan on Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Today is the birthday of one of America’s best poets, in my opinion, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and he is 95 years old!  I used to read and carry around his “A Coney Island of the Mind,” which contained a fave poem of mine, “I Am Waiting,” with the great line, “and I am waiting for a rebirth of wonder.”

He was hip, he was cool and he opened a bookstore that I would have liked to have visited, but never got the chance: City Lights Bookstore in North Beach in San Francisco.

I am so happy to celebrate his birthday with you today!

He was born in Yonkers and when his dad died when he was a few months old, his mom was committed to a state mental institution and Lawrence was sent to France to be raised by an aunt. He returned to the states, served in WW II in the Navy, and opened his bookstore, named after the Charlie Chaplin movie, “City Lights,” because, “Chaplin’s character represents for me … the very definition of a poet. … A poet, by definition, has to be an enemy of the State. If you look at Chaplin films, he’s always being pursued by the police. That’s why he’s still such a potent symbol in the cinema — the little man against the world.” writersalmanac.publicradio.org)

Are You “Waiting for a Rebirth of Wonder?” Celebrate Lawrence Ferlinghetti

“I am awaiting perpetually and forever a renaissance of wonder” -Ferlinghetti

 

Today is the birthday of one of my favorite poets, beat or any type, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who IS 94 years old today; the same age my dad would’ve been!   Oh how I loved to recite Ferlinghetti’s poetry aloud, especially from his book A Coney Island of the Mind. The poem I would repeatedly recite is: I Am Waiting. If I ever traveled to California, I would’ve liked to have visited his famous landmark bookstore, City Lights in North Beach, (which  opened in 1953 and is still in business), where poets always gathered and I’m sure, still do.  

As an adolescent/teenager/young woman, I read all of the Beat poets/writers like Ginsberg, Corso ,  Kerouac, and knew everyone they hung out with; loved all things considered “beatnik” and wrote poetry since I was about 5 years old. I was fascinated with the Beat Generation. As I got older, that fascination with some of them wore off due to the lives that they led.   

I am so happy to celebrate and share with you Ferlinghetti’s birthday and poetry. Just found this site which celebrates Ferlinghetti’s birthday today which I am going to peruse: The Allen Ginsberg Project: Ferlinghetti’s 94th Birthday

Celebrating Truth to Power: Ferlinghetti stood his ground and challenged the powers that be when it came to publishing works of writers who many wanted censored.  Read this excellent article: The Poet Who Brought You Some Freedom of Speech by Matt Kohn of The Huffington Post.

“Poetry is the shadow cast by our streetlight imaginations.” -Ferlinghetti