“If you would be a poet, create works capable of answering the challenge ofapocalyptic times, even if this meaning sounds apocalyptic.
You are Whitman, you are Poe, you are Mark Twain, you are Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay, you are Neruda and Mayakovsky and Pasolini, you are an American or a non-American, you can conquer the conquerors with words...."
—Lawrence Ferlinghetti. From Poetry as Insurgent Art [I am signaling you through the flames].
Though imbued with the commonplace, Ferlinghetti’s poetry is grounded in lyric and narrative traditions. Among his themes are the beauty of natural world, the tragicomic life of the common man, the plight of the individual in mass society, and the dream and betrayal of democracy. One of his poems, 'Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful People in a Mercedes', is now a poem studied at GCSE level in England, as part of the collection of poems in the AQA Anthology.