Time of Useful Consciousness
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Time of Useful Consciousness

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by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
     
 

Lawrence Ferlinghetti's first book since Poetry as Insurgent Art, a new call to action and a vivid picture of civilization moving towards its brink.
New Directions is proud to announce a riveting and galvanizing new book by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. At ninety-three, he shows more power than most any other poet at work today. Ferlinghetti describes his new book,

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Overview

Lawrence Ferlinghetti's first book since Poetry as Insurgent Art, a new call to action and a vivid picture of civilization moving towards its brink.
New Directions is proud to announce a riveting and galvanizing new book by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. At ninety-three, he shows more power than most any other poet at work today. Ferlinghetti describes his new book, Time of Useful Consciousness, as “a fragmented recording of the American stream-of-consciousness, always westward streaming; a people’s poetic history in the tradition of William Carlos Williams’ Paterson, Charles Olson’s Maximus, Allen Ginsberg’s Fall of America, and Ed Sanders’ America: a History in Verse. ‘Time of Useful Consciousness, is an aeronautical term denoting the time between when one loses oxygen and when one passes out, the brief time in which some life-saving action is possible.”Ferlinghetti’s first book since Poetry as Insurgent Art, the fierce and immediate Time of Useful Consciousness presents poetry written “in ways that those who see poetry as the province of the few and educated had never imagined” (The New York Times Book Review).

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Editorial Reviews

San Francisco Chronicle
“In the spirit of Whitman, [Ferlinghetti] unwinds a country in all its speed and vibrancy.”
CounterPunch
“Lawrence Ferlinghetti is a national treasure and the kind of poet laureate we really deserve.”
The Coffin Factory
“Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s engrossing new work, Time of Useful Consciousness, is an ode to modern American myth. At ninety-two, Ferlinghetti has rhythm, he has vision, and he captures the magic energy of Jack Kerouac.”
Truthdig
“Time of Useful Consciousness is a fresh missive from an elderly Beat who has always refused to sit down.”
Christopher Bollen - Interview Magazine
“Ferlinghetti refers to Ginsberg as 'the Whitman of our age,' but Time of Useful Consciousness has that epic, galvanizing, country-hopping voice of a latter-day Good Gray as Ferlinghetti recreates the pioneer spirit of racing west for gold, for freedom, for art, for land, for the hell of it, for life—as well as all the messy stops along the way.”
Library Journal
Nonagenarian Ferlinghetti continues the personal, impressionistic history of America begun in 2004's Americus, Book I, moving westward across "this vast lonely, inchoate continent" with an urgency born of concern about the nation's future and a forceful poetics derived from Whitman and Ginsberg. Caught "in the sweep of history's broken broom," the poet retraces the 20th century's large migrations to such urban centers as Chicago, Las Vegas, and San Francisco ("not really a part of the United States/ a kind of off-shore colony") while calling attention to remnants of small, human intimacies ("Initials in cement in a sidewalk/ enclosed in a heart/ or in the bark of an ancient tree") amid a dense moraine of cultural allusions and dispiriting omens ("home-towns boarded up/ all over America/ stamped out by shopping malls"). VERDICT While there's little here, in either content or craft, that hasn't been written before by Ferlinghetti's predecessors and Beat contemporaries—when have America's poets not thought the country to be in crisis?—this ambitious call to awareness passionately recalls the narrative of a once-robust, truly national spirit that, seemingly dormant, waits to be revived. [See Prepub Alert, 5/7/12.]—Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib., Ithaca, NY

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811220316
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
10/24/2012
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
609,386
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
16 - 18 Years

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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