Since my student days, and indeed I guess from before then, I've felt a special connection with Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The name helps of course. It's memorable. It rolls of the tongue like one of his poems. And what he stands for - rebellious, gentle, acerbic, questing. Let's not even start to get into the issue of whether he was a Beat poet - he was with the Beats, though a little older and more staid in manner (which I sort of like).
It's been quite a thrill to visit Ferlinghetti's City Lights bookstore in San Francisco a couple of times. Last time I was in the States, I managed to pick up a signed copy of his Starting from San Francisco.
Ferlinghetti died on Monday, a month short of his 102nd birthday. Farewell!
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