A Coney Island of the Mind: Poems (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Poetry was difficult for me to get into, I never clicked with what was being said or really understood the magnitude of eight words on a page, but this classic by Ferlinghetti changed all that for me. Written during the 1950's, it's a collection of poems seperated into three sections. Ferlinghetti writes that he got the title not because it's about Coney Island, but because the poems are a circus of the soul. With two sections being standard poetry and the third being spoken word poems from smoky jazz rooms in the 50's transcribed onto clean pages, there's something hypnotizing about this 90 page book. The poems are a look into not just everyday things, but the deeper thoughts we have about them as well. Making the mundane tasks of life into beautifully written page long verses, Ferlinghetti is essential poetry reading. 

— From Grace


Ferlinghetti’s A Coney Island of the Mind has become a modern classic. It has been translated into nine languages and there are now three-quarters of a million copies in print.

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.

About the Author

In 1953 Lawrence Ferlinghetti cofounded City Lights, the first paperback bookstore in the United States, a Mecca for millions. His Coney Island of the Mind is one of the best-selling volumes of poetry by any living American poet. Born in Yonkers, New York, in 1919, Ferlinghetti has received the Robert Frost Memorial Medal and the first Literarian Award of the National Book Foundation.

Praise For…

Lawrence gets you laughing then hits you with the truth.
— Francis Ford Coppola

A brave man and a brave poet.
— Bob Dylan

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780811200417
ISBN-10: 0811200418
Publisher: New Directions
Publication Date:
Pages: 93
Language: English
Series: New Directions Paperback No. 74