Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ferlinghetti Reads a Poem

LitQuake's big LitCrawl event is tonight, and I'm stuck going to a school benefit for work. :(

This is what they call a #firstworldproblem on Twitter. I love that phrase, because it acknowledges that we who have choices have no serious complaints.

The LitCrawl will take over multiple venues in the Mission District. Each hour, participants have 10 or so free events to choose from. Just looking over the schedule makes me feel excited. The school benefit will... Well, you don't really want to know.

LitQuake nearly passed me by entirely this year, due to conflicts my schedule (#firstworldproblem). I did manage to pop in to City Lights Books one night, though, and hear the legendary Lawrence Ferlinghetti read a poem. I barely managed to squeeze into a spot on the floor, and the camera angle isn't good, but you can hear his voice clearly. Consider it cinema verite.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti reads a poem at City Lights

Many people recited poetry and literature, including poet Michael McClure, and various translators of foreign works. Most praised New Directions publishing, which was the first house to publish Ferlinghetti, for bringing important authors to the attention of this country. I thought the best poem read that night was Lament of the Frontier Guard, a moving anti-war poem by Ezra Pound, another author nurtured by New Directions. After the readings were over, I went across the street to have a drink with Ace at Spec's.

City Lights as seen from the patio in front of Spec's

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