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Far Rockaway of the Heart

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Overview

A Far Rockaway of the Heart is Ferlinghetti's sequel to A Coney Island of the Mind, written forty years later, in what the author has called "a poetry seizure" that lasted more than a year.
A sequence of one hundred and one poems with recurrent themes, it includes various sections on love, art, music, history, and literature, as well as confrontations with major figures in the avant-garde before the arrival of the Beat generation. This edition now includes eighteen new poems ...

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Overview

A Far Rockaway of the Heart is Ferlinghetti's sequel to A Coney Island of the Mind, written forty years later, in what the author has called "a poetry seizure" that lasted more than a year.
A sequence of one hundred and one poems with recurrent themes, it includes various sections on love, art, music, history, and literature, as well as confrontations with major figures in the avant-garde before the arrival of the Beat generation. This edition now includes eighteen new poems from Ferlinghetti's "Pictures of the Gone World" which he publishes under his City Lights imprint. A self-styled "stand-up tragedian," Ferlinghetti has been called "the foremost chronicler of our times." If A Coney Island of the Mind was a generations vibrant eye-opener, A Far Rockaway of the Heart is a wake-up call for a new age.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Nearly four decades after the publication of A Coney Island of the Mind, Ferlinghetti offers this companion, a bardic, blasphemous and somewhat blissed-out wake-up call for 20th-century America to find its lost soul. One of the iconoclastic survivors of the Beat generation, Ferlinghetti, who is approaching his 80th birthday, serves up his first collection of new poems since 1988's Wild Dreams of a New Beginning. These 101 numbered poems, most occupying a single page, burn through modern America's absurdities and unrepentant historical revision in a glorious rant against mediocrity, greed, capitalism and boring poetry, with serious riffs on painting and love. Ferlinghetti blasts the "defeated Romanticism/ of T.S. Eliot/ and his pathetic phallusies" claiming Whitman and NerudaBlake would work, tooas his ancestors. Staggered lines and unfettered associations serve to bypass the cerebral ("It is not the mind that hears it/ but an ear of what we call the soul") while insisting that poetry maintain its political and social missions as well: "But I still hear singing/ still the voices of poets/ mixed with the cry of prostitutes...." Dubbing himself a "stand-up tragedian," Ferlinghetti's commanding voice draws on humor and the everyday (in poem #16, God uses a "portable Mac" while the devil whispers "`Life sucks...'"), anger and even a note of pathos and allows him to speak with the stentorian resonance that has made him legendary: "I still would love to find again/ that lost locality/ Where I might catch once more/ a Sunday subway for/ some Far Rockaway of the Heart." (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811213981
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Series: Paperbook Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 984,561
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

The poet, publisher, and activist Lawrence Ferlinghetti, born in Yonkers, New York, in 1919, has received the Robert Frost Memorial Medal and the first Literarian Award of the National Book Foundation. He is the subject of Christopher Felver’s new film documentary, Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2006

    The Beat Still Goes On

    One of my first introductions into the Beatnik Generation was this incredible written by Ferlinghetti, the most underrated of the Beats. Ferlinghetti has tremendous riffs on poetry, music, art, and man's condition. At times prophetic and absurd, this book holds the best of the Beatnik tradition in its love-hate relationship with that most undefinable human quality-America. Ferlinghetti's swan song to the world.

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