Some of my favorite and most cherished books are part of the Pocket Poets series published by the legendary San-Francisco-based City Lights Books — founded by Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who turns 90 years old today — March 24, 2009 — and just happens to be a native of Yonkers, N.Y., my old hometown!

Visit friend Steven Hart‘s Web site to read what he has to say about Ferlinghetti.

Here’s the complete list of books in the Pocket Poets series (I’ve boldfaced the ones I actually own — family, friend and strangers are welcome to help me fill the gaps in my collection!):
1 – Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Pictures of a Gone World
2 – Kenneth Rexroth, Thirty Spanish Poems of Love and Exile
3 – Kenneth Patchen, Poems of Humor and Protest
4 – Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems

5 – Marie Ponsot, True Minds
6 – Denise Levertov, Here and Now
7 – William Carlos Williams, Kora in Hell : Improvisations
8 – Gregory Corso, Gasoline/Vestal Lady on Brattle
9 – Jacques Prevert, Paroles
10 – Robert Duncan, Selected Poems

11 – Jerome Rothenberg, New Young German Poets
12 – Nicanor Parra, Anti-Poems
13 – Kenneth Patchen, Love Poems
14 – Allen Ginsberg, Kaddish and other poems

15 – Robert Nichols, Slow Newsreel of Man riding Train
16 – Yevgeni Yevtuschenko, Red Cats (Translated by Anselm Hollo)
17 – Malcolm Lowry, Selected Poems
18 – Allen Ginsberg, Reality Sandwiches
19 – Frank O’Hara, Lunch Poems
20 – Philip Lamantia, Selected Poems
21 – Bob Kaufman, Golden Sardine
22 – Janine Pommy-Vega, Poems to Fernando
23 – Allen Ginsberg, Planet News

24 – Charles Upton, Panic Grass
25 – Pablo Picasso, Hunk of Skin
26 – Robert Bly, The Teeth-Mother Naked at Last
27 – Diane Diprima, Revolutionary Letters
28 – Jack Kerouac, Scattered Poems

29 – Andrei Voznesensky, Dogalypse
30 – Allen Ginsberg, The Fall of America31 – Pete Winslow, A Daisy in the Memory of a Shark
32 – Harold Norse, Hotel Nirvana
33 – Anne Waldman, Fast Speaking Woman
34 – Jack Hirschmann, Lyripol
35 – Allen Ginsberg, Mind Breaths
36 – Stefan Brecht, Poems
37 – Peter Orlovsky, Clean Asshole Poems & Smiling Vegetable Songs
38 – Antler, Factory
39 – Philip Lamantia, Becoming Visible
40 – Allen Ginsberg, Plutonian Ode
41 – Pier Paolo Pasolini, Roman Poems
42 – Lucebert, Nine Dutch Poets
43 – Ernesto Cardenal, From Nicaragua with Love
44 – Antonio Porta, Kisses from another Dream
47 – Vladimir Mayakovski, Listen!
48 – Jack Kerouac, Poems all Sizes, 1992
49 – Daisy Zamora, Riverbed of Memory
50 – Rosario Murillo, Angel in the Deluge
51 – Jack Kerouac, Scripture of the Golden Eternity
52 – Alberto Blanco, Dawn of the Senses
53 – Julio Cortazar, Save Twilight, Selected Poems
54 – Dino Compana, Orphic Songs

And here’s a video clip of Ferlinghetti reading his poem “Pity the Nation”:

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One thought on “He turned on City Lights

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