A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

A Coney Island of the Mind

The title of this book is taken from Henry Miller's "Into the Night Life" and expresses the way Lawrence Ferlinghetti felt about these poems when he wrote them during a short period in the 1950's—as if they were, taken together, a kind of Coney Island of the mind, a kind of circus of the soul.

Details A Coney Island of the Mind

TitleA Coney Island of the Mind
Release DateAug 16th, 1968
PublisherNew Directions
GenrePoetry, Classics, Fiction, Literature, American

Reviews A Coney Island of the Mind

  • Bill Kerwin
    This is one of the best-selling poetry books of all time, and, although that is no guarantee of poetic excellence—after all, Rod McKuen and Martin Farquar Tupper both sold a lot of books in their day—it is a sign that the author had his finger on the pulse of his time, that his work embodies the yearnings and anxiety of a particular age.That is certainly true of Ferlinghetti’s A Coney Island of the Mind(1958). No other book so perfectly cap...
  • Maureen
    In looking at the book page for this book, I am struck by how many people chose to include one of Ferlinghetti's poems. In my opinion, what that says is that although some of the slanguage and cultural references may be a bit dated, these poems still resonate with people, me included. I bought my copy of this book at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, sat, and read it from cover to cover. Almost everyone who reads this book will find a poem ...
  • Renee Alberts
    my dad gave me his beat-up copy of Coney Island when i was in junior high, and showed me "11" the poem he'd recited for his forensics team when he was in high school. that poetry could be that natural, funny and defiant shocked me, and i've been hooked ever since. this one is up there on the list of books that changed my life.
  • Granny
    One of the greatest influences of my teen years. Meeting and working with him in 1984 was an experience I'll never forget. Yeah, I still have my "ancient" copy of this book from the 1950's!
  • Stef
    in honor of one of my favorite beat poets, i will write this review without touching the shift keyand, of course, my thumb readily on the space taba collection of interesting visual poetry don't need to snap your fingers or wear blackor have a set of bongosfluid writing, cool fluidly throughout read over and overand over again
  • Masked
    the guy wrote a poem where marc chagall's mom is yelling at him. "but hekept right onpainting"i love how sweet ferlinghetti's poems are. i don't think he means them to be. but they are.
  • Adriana Scarpin
    I am WaitingI am waiting for my case to come up and I am waiting for a rebirth of wonder and I am waiting for someone to really discover America and wail and I am waiting for the discovery of a new symbolic western frontier and I am waiting for the American Eagle to really spread its wings and straighten up and fly right and I am waiting for the Age of Anxiety to drop dead and I am waiting for the war to be fought which will make the world safe f...
  • Britannie
    BY LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTIIn Golden Gate Park that daya man and his wife were coming alongthru the enormous meadowwhich was the meadow of the worldHe was wearing green suspendersand carrying an old beat-up flutein one handwhile his wife had a bunch of grapeswhich she kept handing outindividuallyto various squirrelsas if eachwere a little jokeAnd then the two of them came onthru the enormous meadowwhich was the meadow of the worldand thenat a very s...
    review of Lawrence Ferlinghetti's A Coney Island of the Mind by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - November 12, 2011 Rereading A Coney Island of the Mind for what might be the 1st time in 41 yrs felt like going home again - by wch I mean that it feels like something that I'm very familiar w/ - even though I'm not. There's always the possibility that when one reads something in one's 'formative yrs' that it becomes deeply instantiated. Rereading this fe...
  • aconeyisland
    I am leading a quiet life in Mike’s Place every dayI hear America singing in the Yellow Pages. I am leading a quiet life in Mike’s Place every day watching the champs of the Dante Billiard Parlor and the French pinball addicts. I am leading a quiet life on lower East Broadway. I am an American. I was an American boy. I read the American Boy Magazine and became a boy scout in the suburbs. I thought I was Tom Sawyer catching crayfish in the Bro...
  • Erik Graff
    Throughout much of my youth I bore fealty to a single woman. In junior high it was Nancy, half a foot taller than me, she of the checked skirts. In high school and into college it was Rachel, artist, fabricator of her own clothing, the girl down the block. Nothing came of these relationships in the ordinary sense. We were friends, but the passion wasn't reciprocated. I never really expected it would be.Rachel had a custom during my last two years...
  • Mind the Book
    Att läsas experimentellt till (inre) jazz.En favorit är Autobiography.#BOTNS bokbingo: 'Has a place-name in the title'
  • Rand
    I am waiting for the rebirth of wondershe loved to look at flowersI am waitingJohnny Nolan has a patch on his assThe world is a beautiful place it is heavenly weatherThey were putting up the statue of St. Francis Christ climbed down the Dog at the pennycandystore beyond the El and one enters a completely different worldDon't let that horse run away with that violin
  • Punk
    Poetry. I like Ferlinghetti for his rhythm, humor, and creative use of white space. Sometimes, like ee cummings, Ferlinghetti seems to be constructing something on the page that makes sense only to him, but occasionally he hits on a structure that perfectly enhances the meaning of a poem. He uses this to great effect in works like "Johnny Nolan has a patch on his ass," where the text mirrors the rhythm and action of the poem.This volume is an odd...
  • Matthew Gallant
    This was my first book of poetry. A gift from my college professor uncle. I read it right away, eager to break away from the school-taught (to this day!) Frost/Poe/Dickinson monotony. Don't get me wrong, they were great, but I suspected there was more out there and I was right. Ferlinghetti was the beginning for me. Incidentally, Uncle John also gave me a little text called "Revenge of the Lawn," which I just finally cracked last week after it st...
  • Elyssa
    Lawrence Ferlinghetti might be one of the lesser known Beats, which is unfortunate. Although I generally do not like poetry, this is one book that's been on my shelf since high school. My admiration for Ferlinghetti resulted in visiting his City Lights Bookstore when I was in San Francisco ten or so years ago. I had hoped to run into him, but was not successful; however, just being in his world was enough for me. I periodically page through this ...
  • Mary
    In "A Coney Island of the Mind"Ferlinghetti's poetry is totally mind blowing and unbelievably still seems quite current...A masterpiece!!
  • Leland
    Clearly, this is one of the most wonderful and important collections of American poetry yet written. Ferlinghetti is, in my view, king of the Beat Era poets.
  • Faith-Anne
    This is a perfect book for people interested in exploring the world of poetry. I know quite a few people who got hooked on the genre through this book.
  • Cyndi
    Surreal, romantic, hopeful and somewhat despairing. Some primo pieces of work evocative of the psychology of the latter 50s to early 60s, with the Cold War and the onset of the hippie movement.
  • Mick
    Not reading this is UnAmerican. Really.
  • Matt
    Every bookish malcontent in the world gets all hot and bothered by the Beats, and that's fine, of course, but Lawrence Ferlinghetti is one of the major poets of the movement and he gets overlooked quite often. In fact, there's a moment in this documentary I saw on him where he's at his 70th birthday or something and he's chatting with Gregory Corso. Corso's all shabby and grungy and resentful, a bitter minor voice if there ever was one, and he sa...
  • Dixon
    When I was in college (back when dinosaurs ruled the earth), I fell in love with this volume of Beat Generation poetry. I did some readings of Ferlinghetti on the college speech & debate circuit, and he helped me bring home some trophies. I guess you could say we were partners of a sort.Ferlinghetti was not merely a poet. He also owned the Harbor Lights bookstore (I think that's the name) and ran a small press. When Ginsberg was trying to publish...
  • Jake
    I had never read Ferlinghetti before, and I bought this solely because of its title. Coney Island? OF THE MIND? Well, it had a lot of that quality. Titleless poems that bounced around, colorful and chiming. It was noises and images and an America you’d hope to find out on the east coast boardwalk of the great arcade known as Coney Island. It wasn’t exactly beatnik sleight of hand, nor was it the slow-mouthed observations of this country. It w...
  • Amy
    This book of poetry feels like a slice of history. I can feel the influence of the beatniks, slam poetry, the style of E.E. Cummings (and others), and the impending '60s. The writing is current and prescient, personal and political, musical and lyrical. He captures ideas and moments in time, but they're not that far removed from today.Here's a moment-in-time favorite. You don't really know how the woman is feeling until the end, and then you wond...
  • Jim
    Ferlinghetti conducting a symphony of wordscooking a recipe of ideas with pop culture and counter culture and subculture and high culture and low culture and Western culture Less writing and more pulling words together finding the pattern pleasing to the inner eyeHe sees with a critical eye and cuts down and skewers the lies of the world around usas true today as in 1950Only read this if you can stand him reaching into your brainthe Coney Island ...
  • Arcadia
    There is going to be a poem that resonates with you. An allegorical collection of poems, 'the author intended it as a sustained metaphor or allegory for modern life'. His use of structure is very note-worthy. It allows the reader to freely read it, changing the meaning of the sentence depending on your intonation. They're smart and witty poems. I liked '15' where he compares a poet to a tightrope walker. Or the one where he describes a drunken ho...
  • kate
    i slipped this from a top shelf of my parents' floor to ceiling bookshelves when i was 12 years old. i lay on the floor and fell head over heels in love with these words. there is an undeniable current within these pages and these poems stay within the recess of your mind."only the next day she has bad teeth and really hates poetry"the well-worn copy i keep within reach is that same copy i slipped from that shelf.
  • Gautsho
    Lugesin ja siis kuulasin juutuubist, kuidas Ferlinghetti neid loeb ja kirjutasin vihikusse ymber luuletuse "Koer", et seda jõuluvanale ette lugeda ja siis lugesin veel korra ja kogu aeg olin yllatunud, kui hea see on ja ka sellest, et ykski raamat või värk ei olnud mind varem seda yles otsima pannud - miks seda nii kitsilt kiidetakse?
  • Miriam Cihodariu
    I would give this a 4.5 stars but for lack of half-measures I will settle for 5. Still, this means I really loved it. I don't usually rate things so high. It's a beautiful, gorgeous madness with nothing of random musings in it. Instead, in spite of the random appearance of this madness, everything is horrifyingly meaningful. Best parts:it's full of references (that actually make sense) to many cultural landmarks, sensitive, insightful, full of th...