“We have seen the best minds of our generation destroyed by boredom at poetry readings.”
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Wild Dreams of a New Beginning

 “I am waiting for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe for anarchy”
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, A Coney Island of the Mind

 I wish to descend in the social scale.
High society is low society.
I am a social climber
climbing downward
And the descent is difficult.
(Junkman’s Obbligato)
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti in front of City Lights Books during the time of controversial obscenity trial regarding Allen Ginsburg’s “Howl”, which City Lights published.  Circa 1950.

“freeways fifty lanes wide on a concrete continent spaced with bland billboards illustrating imbecile illusions of happiness” *excerpted from A Coney Island of the Mind

“The pennycandystore beyond the El is where I first fell in love with unreality” *excerpted from A Coney Island of the Mind

Ferlinghetti published Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl,” and was tried on obscenity charges.  He was declared innocent, a landmark victory for free speech.

Ferlinghetti was one of the more politically-minded of the Beats, and has been continually active on behalf of liberal causes. He attributes his pacifist consciousness partly to his wartime experiences: he had been sent to Nagasaki, Japan six weeks after the city was destroyed by the world’s second atomic bomb. * excerpted from “Lawrence Ferlinghetti” by Levi Asher


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