Lawrence Ferlinghetti – Anarchist Poet

from Robert Graham's Anarchism Weblog via The Free

Lawrence Ferlinghetti – Anarchist Poet

Here’s to Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919-2021), anarchist, poet, publisher of the Beat poets, and host of City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, who died on February 22, 2021 at the grand old age of 101, a month shy of his 102nd birthday.

I Am Waiting

I am waiting for my case to come up
and I am waiting
for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting for someone
to really discover America
and wail
and I am waiting
for the discovery
of a new symbolic western frontier
and I am waiting
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right
and I am waiting
for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead
and I am waiting
for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe
for anarchy
and I am waiting
for the final withering away
of all governments
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder
I am waiting for the Second Coming
and I am waiting
for a religious revival
to sweep thru the state of Arizona
and I am waiting
for the Grapes of Wrath to be stored
and I am waiting
for them to prove
that God is really American
and I am waiting
to see God on television
piped onto church altars
if only they can find
the right channel
to tune in on
and I am waiting
for the Last Supper to be served again
with a strange new appetizer
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder
I am waiting for my number to be called
and I am waiting
for the Salvation Army to take over
and I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth
without taxes
and I am waiting
for forests and animals
to reclaim the earth as theirs
and I am waiting
for a way to be devised
to destroy all nationalisms
without killing anybody
and I am waiting
for linnets and planets to fall like rain
and I am waiting for lovers and weepers
to lie down together again
in a new rebirth of wonder
I am waiting for the Great Divide to be crossed
and I am anxiously waiting
for the secret of eternal life to be discovered
by an obscure general practitioner
and I am waiting
for the storms of life
to be over
and I am waiting
to set sail for happiness
and I am waiting
for a reconstructed Mayflower
to reach America
with its picture story and tv rights
sold in advance to the natives
and I am waiting
for the lost music to sound again
in the Lost Continent
in a new rebirth of wonder
I am waiting for the day
that maketh all things clear
and I am awaiting retribution
for what America did
to Tom Sawyer
and I am waiting
for Alice in Wonderland
to retransmit to me
her total dream of innocence
and I am waiting
for Childe Roland to come
to the final darkest tower
and I am waiting
for Aphrodite
to grow live arms
at a final disarmament conference
in a new rebirth of wonder
I am waiting
to get some intimations
of immortality
by recollecting my early childhood
and I am waiting
for the green mornings to come again
youth’s dumb green fields come back again
and I am waiting
for some strains of unpremeditated art
to shake my typewriter
and I am waiting to write
the great indelible poem
and I am waiting
for the last long careless rapture
and I am perpetually waiting
for the fleeing lovers on the Grecian Urn
to catch each other up at last
and embrace
and I am awaiting
perpetually and forever
a renaissance of wonder
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, “I Am Waiting” from A Coney Island of the Mind. Copyright © 1958 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

There are 8 Comments

His passing really just makes me reflect on the whole arc of the 50s/60s, and I can only conclude, somewhat breathlessly: the counterculture really begins and ends with Ferlinghetti. The Beat Movement, the wave of subversive publishing he helped usher in, the cache he lent to outsider ideas--he was the real deal. You could minus out his entire oeuvre of poems and he would still be staggeringly accomplished. But to have been both a seminal publisher AND an incredible poet? Most of us will not be so lucky to have a Midas touch twice over in our lives. Rest in Verse.

The beat generation helped lead me to anarchism and I know I'm not the only one. He will be well remembered.

Can't wait to talk about Black's issues when he dies.

But he did not theoretically fuck and contradict himself like ol' nigga Lawrence did. This does not talk away from his positive poetic beat legacy.

I would much rather have had one conversation with Ferlinghetti than all the conversations I had with Black.

Frankly, that screed reads like Bob was having a tantrum because City Lights wouldn't publish one of his essays.

(BB has written great essays, but at some point it will become necessary to no longer cut him any slack for his odious personal behavior or take his word about the behavior of others.)

with less personal failings then Bobzilla. That does not take away the fact that an anarchist supporting any marxoid vanguard statist capitalist power project is inexcusable.

Black has been turned down by a lot of publishers(there's a reason he found a home and got on with ancap loompanics) I doubt that's why he went after Ferlinghetti.

Alot of the odious personal behavior takes on BB are subjective calls. Black himself would admit to personal faults like not being able to keep friends. However some of the issues with him really are born of inner milieu moral faggery that I just don't acknowledge. Sicking the cops on the antisemitic dope fiend as revenge is not one of my problems. He pissed off a lot of people with provocative writing on leftist sacred cows that were and remain true. Personal failings do not obfuscate this fact. The next round of bohemians will likely be reading him and the other post leftists for note taking on what to do going forward into what looks to be a cybernetic bladerunneresque hellscape. Lawrence will have his place to, he just fucked up big time supporting the worst forms of leftism there was to support. You call that out just like you call out Prince Pete for backing WW1.

Yeah, but I never looked to Ferlinghetti for his views on foreign policy, or anarchy, for that matter. He ran a great bookstore and wrote some good poetry, and if he wasn't a perfect ideological anarchist, good to know but not quite the point.

As for Bob, I wasn't referring to the Hogshire thing, (or Bob's writing, for the most part), I agree too much energy has been spent on excoriating him for this when it's not warranted.

At some point knowing you have issues is no longer enough, you (one, we) need to work on our shit too.

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