Tuesday 7 April 2015

F is for Ferlinghetti and Fox

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Lawrence Ferlinghetti is 96, I was surprised to discover that he is still alive, that's 60 years of writing poetry. He was one of the group of Beat poets in the 1950s, though I am not sure if that is a label he might still apply to himself. He is another person I have mentioned before ( a couple more of his poems to be found here and here), and this one comes from his collection 'These are my rivers - new and selected poems 1955-1993'. Again I have this problem of the peculiar layout style, which breaks up the rhythm and meaning, but I will do my best to reproduce it.

The World is a Beautiful Place

               The world is a beautiful place
                                                     to be born into
   if you don't mind happiness
                                    not always being
                                                           so very much fun
       if you don't mind a touch of hell
                                                   now and then
                   just when everything is fine
                                          because even in heaven
                                   they don't sing
                                                       all the time

             The world is a beautiful place
                                                    to be born into
      if you don't mind some people dying
                                                           all the time
                       or maybe only starving
                                                      some of the time
               which isn't half so bad
                                               if it isn't you

     Oh the world is a beautiful place
                                                  to be born into
            if you don't much mind
                                          a few dead minds
                     in the higher places
                                                or a bomb or two
                          now and then
                                             in your upturned faces
     or other such improprieties
                                           as our Name Brand society
                              is prey to
                                          with its men of distinction
                 and its men of extinction
                                                   and its priests
                 and other patrolmen
                                             and its various segregations
    and congressional investigations
                                                 and other constipations
                     that our fools flesh
                                                 is heir to

    Yes the world is the best place of all
                                              for a lot of such things as
         making the fun scene
                                            and making the love scene
  and making the sad scene
                and singing low songs and having inspirations
          and walking around
                                      looking at everything
                                                    and smelling flowers
          and goosing statues
                                    and even thinking
                                                      and kissing people and
                making babies and wearing pants
                                                        and waving hats and
                         and going swimming in orders
                                      on picnics
                                               in the middle of summer
                   and just generally
                                                 'living it up'
       but then right in the middle of it
                                                  comes the smiling


And, because I am trying to include something from every poetry book I own, here is something very short and to the point, from Rachel Fox:

Living for Beginners

Breathing's important
Food is good too
Everything else
Is just something you do

(Linking back to the A to Z Challenge)

1 comment:

  1. I like reading poetry, but as someone who has never had much talent for it, I think it is interesting to read all the talented poems out there.


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