Famous Quotes & Sayings

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 95 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Pinterest Share on Linkedin

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1996484

When you're young, everything seems like a romance. At 96, I can still feel romantic about publishing young unknown writers. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 441220

Souls dance undressed/ together/ and like loiterers/ on the fringes of a fair/ we ogle the unobtainable/ imagined mystery/ Yet away around on the far side/ like a stage door of a circus tent/ is a wide vent in the battlements/ where even elephants/ waltz thru
pg. 31// A Coney Island of the Mind — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 686029

It was a face which darkness could kill
in an instant
a face as easily hurt
by laughter or light
'We think differently at night'
she told me once
lying back languidly
And she would quote Cocteau
'I feel there is an angel in me' she'd say
'whom I am constantly shocking'
Then she would smile and look away
light a cigarette for me
sigh and rise
and stretch
her sweet anatomy
let fall a stocking — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 109715

And I am waiting/ for Alice in Wonderland/ to retransmit to me/ her total dream of innocence
pg. 52// A Coney Island of the Mind — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 2110080

Well, I didn't know how to draw very well back then, in the '40s and '50s. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1970400

As I get older I perceive Life has its tail in its mouth. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 897367

Her eyes downcast all the while/ and singing to herself
pg. 18// A Coney Island of the Mind — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 888648

I have a feeling I'm falling on rare occasions but most of the time I have my feet on the ground I can't help it if the ground itself is falling. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1179795

Our government is a bird with two right wings ... They're devoted to the perpetuation & spread of corporate capitalism. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 802581

Poetry is a naked woman, a naked man, and the distance between them. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 627210

In Goya's greatest scenes we seem to see
the people of the world
exactly at the moment when
they first attained the title of
'suffering humanity — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1635221

They were looking for a stable, but we didn't have one. In fact, we weren't very stable ourselves. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1460613

To say one is revolutionary is a little like saying one is a Zen Buddhist - if you say you are, you probably aren't. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 787932

The world is a beautiful place to be born into if you don't mind some people dying all the time or maybe only starving some of the time which isn't half so bad if it isn't you. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 570534

Watching the world walk by
in its curious shoes
pg. 61// A Coney Island of the Mind — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 2031541

I'm reading a book about Romaine Brooks, a wonderful painter from early in the last century. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 677561

I feel there is an angel in me' she'd say
'whom I am
constantly shocking — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 251614

I am going where turtles win
I am going
where conmen puke and die
Down the sad esplanades
of the official world. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1061051

It's the story of an American who wants to become a dictator and goes to Europe with a sidekick to interview various Fascists to find out how the Nazis and Mussolini got into power. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 784760

For even bad poetry has relevance for what it does not say for what it leaves out. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 215835

Poetry is the shortest distance between two humans. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 231546

Constantly risking absurdity
and death
whenever he performs
above the heads
of his audience
the poet like an acrobat
climbs on rime
to a high wire of his own making
and balancing on eyebeams
above a sea of faces
paces his way
to the other side of day
performing entrechats
and sleight-of-foot tricks
and other high theatrics
and all without mistaking
any thing
for what it may not be
For he's the super realist
who must perforce perceive
taut truth
before the taking of each stance or step
in his supposed advance
toward that still higher perch
where Beauty stands and waits
with gravity
to start her death-defying leap
And he
a little charleychaplin man
who may or may not catch
her fair eternal form
spreadeagled in the empty air
of existence — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 235729

I see a similarity
between dogs and me.
Dogs are the true observers
walking up and down the world
thru the Molloy country. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 242729

Let us arise and go now
to the Isle of Manisfree
and live the true blue simple life
of wisdom and wonderment
where all things grow
straight up
aslant and singing
in the yellow sun
poppies out of cowpods
thinking angels out of turds.
I must arise and go now
to the Isle of Manisfree
way up behind the broken words
and woods of Arcady. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 291739

I flew too near the sun
and my wax wings fell off
pg. 62// A Coney Island of the Mind — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 377103

Make your mind learn its way around the heart. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 381551

The paintings may communicate even better because people are lazy and they can look at a painting with less effort than they can read a poem. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 387244

Fuck Art, let's Dance! — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 403284

I have seen giraffes in junglejims
their necks like love
wound around the iron circumstances
of the world. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 436064

I wish to descend in the social scale.
High society is low society.
I am a social climber
climbing downward
And the descent is difficult.
(- Junkman's Obbligato) — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 438674

No, I didn't become disenchanted. I just couldn't paint like them. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 447972

Don't patronize the chain bookstores. Every time I see some author scheduled to read and sign his books at a chain bookstore, I feel like telling him he's stabbing the independent bookstores in the back. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 448776

And heard the green birds singing/ from the other side of silence
pg. 36// A Coney Island of the Mind — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 544283

And the Blue Angels are coming back to scare the local population. I remember seeing old Vietnamese women ducking under the benches in Washington Square; they thought they were back in the war. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 565608

The real literary editors have mostly been fired. Those that remain are all 'bottom line' editors; everything depends on the money. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 565917

Poetry is the shadow cast by our streetlight imaginations. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 599181

Cast up
the heart flops over
gasping 'Love'
a foolish fish which tries to draw
its breath from flesh of air
And no one there to hear its death
among the sad bushes
where the world rushes by
in a blather of asphalt and delay — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 617034

In Plato's republic, poets were considered subversive, a danger to the republic. I kind of relish that role. So I see my present role as a gadfly, to use my soapbox to promote my various ideas and obsesions. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 623745

I certainly was surprised to be named Poet Laureate of this far-out city on the left side of the world, and I gratefully accept, for as I told the Mayor, "How could I refuse?" I'd rather be Poet Laureate of San Francisco than anywhere because this city has always been a poetic center, a frontier for free poetic life, with perhaps more poets and more poetry readers than any city in the world. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 651372

I am waiting for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe for anarchy — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 688630

Freedom of speech is always under attack by Fascist mentality, which exists in all parts of the world, unfortunately. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 699649

Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
and whose shepherds mislead them.
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
and no other culture but its own.
Pity the nation whose breath is money
and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
Pity the nation - oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away.
My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 722138

The state of the world calls out for poetry to save it. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 755382

I arrived in San Francisco in January 1951. After the Second World War, the population was so uprooted. Soldiers came back home for brief periods and took off again. So the population was very fluid, and suddenly it was as if the continent tilted west. The whole population slid west. It took 10 years for America to coalesce into a new culture. And the new culture happened in San Francisco, not New York. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 757514

Beauty stands and waits
with gravity
to start her death-defying leap — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 766142

If you're going to be a writer you should sit down and write in the morning, and keep it up all day, every day. Charles Bukowski, no matter how drunk he got the night before or no matter how hungover he was, the next morning he was at his typewriter. Every morning. Holidays, too. He'd have a bottle of whiskey with him to wake up with, and that's what he believed. That's the way you became a writer: by writing. When you weren't writing, you weren't a writer. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 784721

It's much easier to consume the visual image than to read something. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 812093

This is all very nice, because the ideas that Jack and the Beat generation stood for are needed today more than ever. But I'm not so interested in nostalgia. I'm interested in the future. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 829104

My country tears of thee. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 910551

[in the true mad north] of introspection,
where 'falcons of the inner eye'
dive and die, glimpsing in their
dying fall, all life's memory of existence. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 933610

I am waiting for them to prove that God is really American. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 971232

I think if there's a great depression there might be some hope. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 979285

T.S. Eliot's influence was enormous on my generation. Much more than Ezra Pound. I actually had to put T.S. Eliot books out of the house because my poetry was so influenced. Everything I wrote sounded like Eliot. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 993664

I am waiting for the lost music to sound again in a new rebirth of wonder. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1022990

You and me could really exist
pg. 22// // A Coney Island of the Mind — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1050514

I'd ban all automobiles from the central part of the city. You see, the automobile was just a passing fad. It's got to go. It's got to go a long way from here. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1053869

If you're too open-minded; your brains will fall out. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1055154

The Cat
The cat licks its paw and lies down in the bookshelf nook. She can lie in a sphinx position without moving for so many hours and then turn her head to me and rise and stretch and turn her back to me and lick her paw again as if no time had passed. It hasn't and she is the sphinx with all the time in the world in the desert of her time the cat knows where flies die wees ghosts in the motes of air and shadows in sunbeams. She hears the music of the spheres and the hum in the wires of houses and the hum of the universe in interstellar spaces but prefers domestic places and the hum of the heater. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1063645

We'd like to just write nothing but lyric poetry. The trouble is, the individual is going along intent on his own personal gratifications and love affairs and financial affairs and everything else. But loping alongside him is this fascist lout who keeps trying to take over. And if you keep ignoring him, he gets bigger and bigger, so every once in a while the free individual has to turn away from his private pursuits and give this fascist lout a few clouts, and beat him down to size. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1098641

We have to raise the consciousness; the only way poets can change the world is to raise the consciousness of the general populace. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1110439

I too have drunk and seen
the spider — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1116352

The poet like an acrobat climbs on rime to a high wire of his own making. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1211556

The locust continues
to devour the world
Hunger persists
Love lurches on
listing to starboard
like a ship in a bottle
Human longing goes on
Loneliness a curse
Innocence persists
Ignorance persists — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1244641

We were just a one-room bookstore; we didn't have any money for lawyers. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1304086

I am awaiting perpetually and forever a renaissance of wonder — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1311412

I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth ...
without taxes — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1338629

Recipe For Happiness Khaborovsk Or Anyplace'
One grand boulevard with trees
with one grand cafe in sun
with strong black coffee in very small cups.
One not necessarily very beautiful
man or woman who loves you.
One fine day. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1348671

There is an ecstatic mechanism in birds that makes them fly upwards in spite of worms. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1406056

You can publish a poem you think is a very important poem, and you don't hear a word from anyone. You can publish a book of poetry by dropping it off a cliff and waiting to hear an echo. Quite often, you'll never hear a thing. So doing that, using older work, puts it in a context, and that sort of forces the reader to realize what its importance is-if it has any. Everything needs a context. You're not going to recognize a poet unless you have a context. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1409018

The future of publishing lies with the small and medium-sized presses, because the big publishers in New York are all part of huge conglomerates. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1424776

Poets, come out of your closets, Open your windows, open your doors, You have been holed up too long in your closed worlds ... Poetry should transport the public/to higher places/than other wheels can carry it ... — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1505021

Almost every truly creative being alienated & expatriated in his own country — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1535223

The art has to make it on its own, without explanations, and it's the same for poetry. If the poem or the painting has to be explained, then it's a failure in communication. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1543147

Everything the Beats stood for was the opposite of the dominant culture today. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1592175

And balancing on eye beams/ above a sea of faces/ paces his way/ to the other side of day
pg. 30// // A Coney Island of the Mind — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1635089

Communism wasn't a word that I thought of when I went to Cuba. The original Fidelistas were not Communists. They were graduate students at the university and law students. After the Fidelistas took over, they went to Washington and tried to get support from the U.S. government, which turned them down. They were in a desperate political and economic situation, so they took the offer from the Soviet Union. Communism was a matter of necessity. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1641448

Think long thoughts in short sentences. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1715667

When I was a boy I was my father. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1732226

I have dreamt that all my teeth fell out but my tongue lived to tell the tale
pg. 65// A Coney Island of the Mind — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1743260

These are international criminals, and the spineless Democrats are doing nothing about it. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1749002

A lot of manuscripts that come in, you wonder by what outrageous fantasy the author believes that this should be pressed into print. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1763487

If you would be a poet, write living newspapers. Be a reporter from outer space, filing dispatches to some supreme managing editor who believes in full disclosure and has a low tolerance for bullshit. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1804961

Telling over to myself/ how beauty never dies/ but lies apart/ among the aborigines/ of art/ and far above the battlefields/ of love
pg. 23// // A Coney Island of the Mind — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1820846

Blink at the sunned scratch
and stumble into silence
pg. 55// A Coney Island of the Mind — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1861025

Don't bow down to critics who have not themselves written great masterpieces. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1865762

I have seen the Virgin
in an appletree at Chartres
And Saint Joan burn
at the Bella Union.
I have seen giraffes in junglejims
their necks like love
wound around the iron circumstances
of the world.
I have seen the Venus Aphrodite
armless in her drafty corridor.
I have heard a siren sing
at One Fifth Avenue.
I have seen the White Goddess dancing
in the Rue des Beaux Arts
on the Fourteenth of July
and the Beautiful Dame Without Mercy
picking her nose in Chumley's. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1896239

Is where I first/ fell in love/ with unreality
pg. 35// A Coney Island of the Mind — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1898396

Paperbacks weren't considered real books in the book trade. Up till then it was just murder mysteries, potboilers, 25-cent pocket books sold in newsstands. When the New York publishers started publishing quality paperbacks, there was no place to buy them. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1922951

Anyone who saw Nagasaki would suddenly realize that they'd been kept in the dark by the United States government as to what atomic bombs can do. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1926741

Invent a new language anyone can understand. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 1998016

Southern California, where the American Dream came too true. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 2030602

We have seen the best minds of our generation destroyed by boredom at poetry readings. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 2198927

Poetry is eternal graffiti written in the heart of everyone. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 2205028

See
it was like this when
we waltz into this place.
A couple of papish cats
is doing an Aztec two-step
And I says
Dad let's cut
but then this dame
comes up behind me see
and says
you and me could really exist
Wow I says
Only the next day
she has bad teeth
and really hates
poetry. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Quotes 2228766

Poetry must be capable of answering the challenge of apocalytpic times, even if this means sounding apocaltypic. — Lawrence Ferlinghetti