Happy Birthday Lawrence Ferlinghetti


Lawrence Ferlinghetti in his office with pooch, Whitman photo, files, coat racks, book bags, posters, at City Lights up on balcony, B’way at Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, October 1984. Allen Ginsberg (c. Allen Ginsberg Estate)

…and we just happened to be sifting through the Bureau of Public Secrets website’s enormous catalog, where they’ve posted Kenneth Rexroth’s complete columns from the San Francisco Examiner, and came across this timely tidbit. It’s from from exactly 50 years ago about Ferlinghetti, freshly returned from a trip to South America with Ginsberg . (It begins just below the Beckett and Ionesco paragraphs )

And last, but not least! Thanks to Steve Silberman for spotting this. A new poem by Ferlinghetti, “At Sea,” on the occasion of his 91st birthday, published/posted by Lapham’s Quarterly.  (2015 update – a rather shakey but nonetheless audible video of Ferlinghetti reading this poem was posted some five years later on You Tube – see here)

One comment

  1. Interesting. Knowing what we know about how Ginsberg flowered (forgive the unintentional pun) into an icon of the counter-culture in the Sixties, it's fascinating to see Rexroth saying that Allen appeared already, in 1960, a figure trapped in time who didn't represent the modern audience. Still, this seems to have been written without malice, however inaccurate it turned out to be.
    Happy birthday to Ferlinghetti, by the way. He's a terrific poet and one of the most important facilitators of contemporary-alternative culture in the last sixty years. Given the influence the Beats had on rock and roll through Dylan and others, and Ferlinghetti's importance in popularising the Beats, the world might have been a very different place without him.

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