Lawrence Ferlingghetti is a gritty sentimentalist, an urban troubadour, an unrepentant romantic and an American treasure. He wrote A Coney Island of the Mind in the 1950s, but his poems still thrill and inspire sixty years later. Reading Ferlingghetti’s poetry is a kind of literary rite of passage, but if you didn’t read him in college, it’s not too late. His poems move me now just as much as they did twenty-five years ago. Arguably unlike some of the other Beat poets, you never “grow out of” Coney Island.
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