Endless Life: Selected Poems

Poetry by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti is surely (as a reviewer in Booklist phrased it) “one of our ageless radicals and true bards.” He has consistently spoken in poetic terms accessible to every type of reader about our life and time and its issues, not only the political ones but those of the interior life. Behind the immediacy of what Library Journal called his “Dynamic, verbose, alarming, charming, and unsettling” poetry and its irresistible spontaneity lie serious thought and erudition. His motivation has been to be (in his words) “an agent provocateur––subversive, anarchistic, and prophetic.” Endless Life: Selected Poems is the poet’s own choice, the poems that still excite him, from eight previous books of poetry. These start with Pictures of the Gone World (1955), the first book he published under his own City Lights imprint, followed by A Coney Island of the Mind (1958), a literary landmark with almost a million copies in print the world over and the first of Ferlinghetti’s thirteen books brought out by New Directions. Starting from San Francisco (1961), The Secret Meaning of Things (1969), Open Eye, Open Heart (1973), Who Are We Now? (1976), Northwest Ecolog (City Lights, 1978), and Landscapes of Living & Dying (1979) are each generously represented. The final section of the book includes the long title poem, “Endless Life.”

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Paperback (published July 1, 1984)


Lawrence Ferlinghetti

American writer, publisher, activist, visual artist, and founder of City Lights Books