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

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Author New Directions Publishing Corporation $13.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8112-1273-1
Combining a Whitmanesque celebration of the earthy with a nod to the surrealist tradition, Ferlinghetti (Wild Dreams of a New Beginning) blasted his way into public consciousness with the 1958 publication of A Coney Island of the Mind, marking him as one of the Beat poets, though his more refined poetic sensibility showed just how different he was from what ``Beat'' came to mean. This compendium of work from throughout his career, including 27 new poems, reveals an ongoing interest in matters political and sexual. Unlike Ginsberg, whose Collected Poems showed an artist struggling with decline and decay, Ferlinghetti seems to maintain his calm in the face of age; ``The Rebels,'' from a 1984 collection, shows a remarkable stylistic similarity to his famous 1958 ``Constantly Risking Absurdity.'' But where the latter poem borders on a now-cloying self-consciousness, the former shows a subtle reflectiveness in the face of nature, as well as a recognition of his connection with readers. Regardless, it's exciting to revisit in one volume work like ``I Am Waiting,'' ``An Elegy on the Death of Kenneth Patchen'' and ``Endless Life'' in this collection by one of America's most popular poets. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/03/1994
Release date: 10/01/1994
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 308 pages - 978-0-8112-1252-6
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