Lawrence Ferlinghetti: A Coney Island of the Mind

(1209 words)
  • Gina Wisker (University of Brighton)

Ferlinghetti's second book, A Coney Island Of The Mind was published in 1958. The collection contains “In Goya's Greatest Scenes” which has held a special place in the hearts and minds of a new reading generation:

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

The poem opens with these lines and then sets off to explore the characteristics of suffering humanity caught by the “imagination of disaster”: “they are so bloody real/it is as if they really still existed”. The poem then shifts directly to the contemporary world in which we find the same people, albeit in a …

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Wisker, Gina. "A Coney Island of the Mind". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2002
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]