July 31, 2010

San Francisco Poems
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

And the Beat Goes On – Any visit to San Francisco requires a visit to City Lights, another of America’s great literary meccas. And any visit to City Lights, requires purchasing and reading a bit of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who, in 1953, opened this treasured bookstore with Peter D. Martin. I had the pleasure of hearing Ferlinghetti read over 10 years ago at Columbia College Chicago – and was knocked out. San Francisco Poems, a slim collection published in 2001 in honor of Ferlinghetti being named the city’s poet laureate packs an equally powerful punch. Here are the first four lines from “Challenges to Young Poets.”

Invent a new language anyone can under-

Climb the Statue of Liberty.

Reach for the unattainable.

Kiss the mirror and write what you see and


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