Lawrence Ferlinghetti was born in 1919 in state New York. After he finished philosophical university in Sorbonne, he founded a book store which was selling only cheap editions of books. His City Light Bookshop became a center of young writers. They published their books here, because nobody else wanted their books. This group of writers is known as a beat generation. They make such a boom around them in fifties. The most characteristics for this beat generation is that the writers antagonize the civilization, antagonize all the machinery and technic, they hate war, weapons and nuclear weapons, but they like homeless people, gays, alcoholics, drugs and people from the lowest social classes.
Ferlinghetti is one of the main writers from the beat generation. His first collection of short poems is called The Pictures of the disappeared world. Another one was written to be sung with the jazz music - Spoken Reminders, another collection - Coming out of San Francisco. Besides short poems he wrote one novel - Her, and some short stories. His inspiration was French poetry - mainly Rimbaud and Apollinaire.
Because there is no happening in his poems, I´ll try to zoom in and analyze his poems as a whole. In all his poems he doesn´t use rhymes, rhythm, his verses are absolutely free situated. - Christ climbed down this year from his cross from the naked tree and ran away there..... -some of his poetry can be sung with jazz
The main characteristic is that Ferlinghetti rejects everything that the human society finds OK. He hates the town, he hates all the machinery and business of human life. One of his poem is called Who stole America? In this poem he is telling that America lost its original face. It is not what it used to be, it was the best when only Indians lived there and there was no machinery, no towns. Besides quite important things he is writing also about everything else, one of his poems is called The underwear, where he makes fun of it. Ferlinghetti ironizes and makes fun of everything that people respect. Felinghetti ironizes religion, ironizes people, the more man is more respected, the more he is making fun of him. He writes about sex and life, telling that there is too much commercialization in our life.
In his poem Coming out of San Francisco he writes about himself, describing him as a lazy American, watching the life going by, and doing nothing but criticizing everybody and drinking bear. One of his positive sides of his poems is that he hates war and nuclear weapons. His message is something like this: ( ironizes ) - people are dying from hunger, people are dying in wars, in nuclear explosions , but it´s OK as far as it doesn´t touch you. He wrote in one of his poems that he would be happy if there is only one man who would believe Ferlinghetti thoughts and if there is only one, than his work was not needless. He said that the man is more respected when he is coming down the society ladder instead of going up. He also describes the fantasy, love and mystification.
- I´m waiting when my dad comes home
with full pockets of
radioactive silver dollars
- I´m waiting when reconstructed Mayflower
lands in America
where they already sold to the aboriginals
all the movie and TV rights