Poetry as Insurgent Art

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

A manifesto, essay, and discourse on the value of poetic thought in the modern age.

In 1953 Lawrence Ferlinghetti founded the first paperback bookstore in the United States. In over five decades City Lights, the bookstore and publisher, has become a Mecca for millions. Ferlinghetti’s A Coney Island of the Mind (ND, 1958) is a number one best-selling volume of poetry by any living American poet. Now, New Directions presents his manifesto.

status Copy #1 (4886): in
genre Literature and Fiction » Beat Generation
publisher New Directions
publish date September 1, 2007
popularity checked out 2 time(s)


  • By Alexander Chadsey -

    -Don’t be so open-minded that your brains fall out.
    -Pursue the White Whale, but don’t harpoon it; catch its song instead
    -Cultivate dissidence and critical thinking. First thought may be worst thought.
    -Secretly liberate any being you see in a cage.
    -Don’t fiddle with your mustache in hopeless cellars, writing incomprehensible drivel: Why live in the shadows? Get yourself a seat on the Sunboat.
    -Unless you have an urge to sing, don’t open your mouth.
    -Don’t lecture like this. Don’t say don’t.

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