"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Ferlinghetti is a national treasure, and his voice has become part of our collective conscience. Some of his most famous poems from this collection such as "I Am Waiting" and "Junkman's Obbligato" were created for jazz accompaniment. Written in the conservative post-war 1950s, his poems still resonate, as they will continue to resonate, with a joyful anti-establishment fervor that beats a rhythmic portrait of humanity. Ferlinghetti sings of a world in which "the heart flops over / gasping 'Love'," "cadillacs fell thru the trees like rain," and where "we are the same people / only further from home / on freeways fifty lanes wide."

This special 50th Anniversary Edition comes with a newly recorded CD of the author reading the 29 poems of the title section of A Coney Island of the Mind as well as selections from Pictures of the Gone World. Also available in a limited (200 copies) edition with a hard slipcase signed by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

"I got it signed when I was a teenager. I took the train to San Francisco, went to the bookstore and went to a nearby bar where I heard that he hung out, gave it to the bartender and said, 'Well, if he comes in, have him sign it for me, will ya?' And he did! There are great pieces in A Coney Island of the Mind--it feels very current in spite of the fact that it's fifty years old." --Tom Waits, on National Public Radio

“Lawrence is my favorite poet, to warn us of the coming of Big Brother. Lawrence gets you laughing, then hits you with the truth. From D-Day to 9/11 Lawrence is the poet who asks why the human race is trying to kill itself.” – Francis Ford Coppola

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