“The release of ‘Ferlinghetti’s Greatest Poems’ (I wish New Directions had gone ahead and called it ‘Ferlinghetti’s Greatest Hits,’ like an album full of ear candy by Tom Petty or Elton John) gives us a chance to revisit that question. It’s a complicated one. Do the quicksilver qualities that can make Ferlinghetti’s poetry so captivating to an adolescent undermine our ability to take it seriously with the passing of years?”
Gordinier refers to Ferlinghetti as a “gateway poet,” comparing him to Rupi Kaur. He also points out an unfortunate poem from the collection that now sounds racist.
For Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Nearly 100, the Beat Goes On – Jeff Gordinier – NY Times – 2/13/18