Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Politics
I hope I won't seem too politically incorrect for saying this but after immersing myself in the writings of the guilt-obsessed asexual Jack Kerouac, the ridiculously horny Allen Ginsberg and the just plain sordid William S. Boroughs... it's nice to read a few poems by a guy who can get excited about a little candy store under the El or a pretty woman letting a stocking drop to the floor ("Literary Kicks").
For casual reading, Lawrence Ferlinghetti's poetry is cheerful and humorous. At best it is a welcome break for the mainstream of the "beat generation." Inside his poetry, deep rooted criticisms of the United States exist. Ferlinghetti has had an anti-government attitude since the 1950's. His beliefs strengthened when he was put on trial for publishing a highly controversial collection of poems written by Allen Ginsberg. Lawrence Ferlinghetti has chosen to express his political views through his poetry.
Additionally, Ferlinghetti became more vocal with the use of protests and further publication of controversial and/or anti-government materials through his publishing house, New Directions. By using poetry, Ferlinghetti was able to reach a vast audience including those whom he was criticizing. Through his poetry, Lawrence Ferlinghetti blatantly and subtly criticized the American democratic system and politicians.
In 1957, Ferlinghetti received his first national attention. Ferlinghetti was arrested and brought to trial as the publisher of a collection of obscene poetry, Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg (Alspaugh 1148). Eventually he was cleared of the charges of "publishing and sale of obscene writings." Since his involvement in the obscenity trial, Ferlinghetti became quite cynical of the government. After the trial ended, Lawrence Ferlinghetti canceled all government grants coming to him and to any writers under his publishing house. Currently he still disallows the acceptance of government...