These Are My Rivers: New & Selected Poems, 1955-1993

These Are My Rivers: New & Selected Poems, 1955-1993

These Are My Rivers: New & Selected Poems, 1955-1993

These Are My Rivers: New & Selected Poems, 1955-1993

Synopsis

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, "one of our ageless radicals and true bards" (Booklist), has gathered here four decades of poetry in hi inimitable everyman's voice, including more than fifty pages of new work. The tone has deepened over the years, and he may now be seen as a true maestro in his field. Behind the irresistible air of immediacy and spontaneity lives much erudition and an antic imagination intent on subverting "the dominant paradigm." From his earlies books, including his landmark A Coney Island of the Mind, Ferlinghetti has written poetry "in ways that those who see poetry as the province of the few and educated had never imagined. That strength has turned out to be lasting" (Joel Oppenheimer, N.Y. Times Book Review).

Excerpt

If there had been only
one Buddhist in the woodpile
In Waco Texas
to teach us how to sit still
one saffron Buddhist in the back rooms
just one Tibetan lama
just one Taoist
just one Zen
just one Thomas Merton Trappist
just one saint in the wilderness
of Waco USA
If there had been only one
calm little Gandhi
in a white sheet or suit
one not-so-silent partner
who at the last moment shouted Wait
If there had been just one
majority of one
in the lotus position
in the inner sanctum
who bowed his shaved head to the
Chief of All Police
and raised his hands in a mudra
and chanted the Great Paramita Sutra
the Diamond Sutra
the Lotus Sutra
If there had somehow been
just one Gandhian spinner
with Brian Willson at the gates of the White House
at the Gates of Eden
then it wouldn’t have been
Vietnam once again
and its “One two three four
What’re we waitin’ for?”
If one single ray of the light . . .

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