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New Directions is proud to announce a riveting and galvanizing new book by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. At ninety-three, he shows more power than most any other poet at work today. Ferlinghetti describes his new book, Time of Useful Consciousness, as a fragmented recording of the American stream-of-consciousness, always westward streaming; a people 's poetic history in the tradi New Directions is proud to announce a riveting and galvanizing new book by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. At ninety-three, he shows more power than most any other poet at work today. Ferlinghetti describes his new book, Time of Useful Consciousness, as a fragmented recording of the American stream-of-consciousness, always westward streaming; a people 's poetic history in the tradition of William Carlos Williams Paterson, Charles Olson 's Maximus, Allen Ginsberg 's Fall of America, and Ed Sanders America: a History in Verse. Time of Useful Consciousness, is an aeronautical term denoting the time between when one loses oxygen and when one passes out, the brief time in which some life-saving action is possible. Ferlinghetti 's first book since Poetry as Insurgent Art, the fierce and immediate Time of Useful Consciousness presents poetry written in ways that those who see poetry as the province of the few and educated had never imagined (The New York Times Book Review).


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New Directions is proud to announce a riveting and galvanizing new book by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. At ninety-three, he shows more power than most any other poet at work today. Ferlinghetti describes his new book, Time of Useful Consciousness, as a fragmented recording of the American stream-of-consciousness, always westward streaming; a people 's poetic history in the tradi New Directions is proud to announce a riveting and galvanizing new book by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. At ninety-three, he shows more power than most any other poet at work today. Ferlinghetti describes his new book, Time of Useful Consciousness, as a fragmented recording of the American stream-of-consciousness, always westward streaming; a people 's poetic history in the tradition of William Carlos Williams Paterson, Charles Olson 's Maximus, Allen Ginsberg 's Fall of America, and Ed Sanders America: a History in Verse. Time of Useful Consciousness, is an aeronautical term denoting the time between when one loses oxygen and when one passes out, the brief time in which some life-saving action is possible. Ferlinghetti 's first book since Poetry as Insurgent Art, the fierce and immediate Time of Useful Consciousness presents poetry written in ways that those who see poetry as the province of the few and educated had never imagined (The New York Times Book Review).

30 review for Time of Useful Consciousness: Limited Edition

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    My love of Lawrence Ferlinghetti began with "Coney Island of the Mind" and has not stopped since. Ferlinghetti's poetry speaks to me like few other poets, and like no other living poet (though some works certainly have a stronger voice than others); perhaps what I like best about it is that his writing reminds me of my own in terms of style and intent, and kindred souls are always nice to find, even if our paths cross only on a page. In this work, Ferlinghetti uses an American stream-of-consciou My love of Lawrence Ferlinghetti began with "Coney Island of the Mind" and has not stopped since. Ferlinghetti's poetry speaks to me like few other poets, and like no other living poet (though some works certainly have a stronger voice than others); perhaps what I like best about it is that his writing reminds me of my own in terms of style and intent, and kindred souls are always nice to find, even if our paths cross only on a page. In this work, Ferlinghetti uses an American stream-of-consciousness technique, not unlike his earlier work, "Tyrannus Nix." At first, I was a bit put off by the overuse of cliches and pop culture references, but then I realized that that's part of what America is today, and though perhaps a bit too much, it does not detract from the work as a whole. Ferlinghetti is holding a mirror up to America today and if one looks deep enough into the looking glass, s/he can also see the early America, our rich and haunting past, the breaking of the Great Divide, the crossing of the Western Frontier. Ferlighetti's work is always truthful and though this work is not as edgy and new, perhaps, as "Coney Island of the Mind," it is still eye opening, causing the reader to pause and think about who "we," collectively, are, as a people, as a nation, as a culture. The title of this collection apparently is an aeronautical term "denoting the time between when one loses oxygen and when one passes out, the brief time in which some lifesaving action is possible." As humankind continues to race itself to the brink of destruction, and as so much despair, monotony and mediocrity seem to permeate our world today, Ferlinghetti reminds us that there is still reason for hope and that maybe (maybe?) something more is possible. There is no reason yet to "Abandon all hope." The imagery used by the poet sometimes took me away, on trains heading West, on big steel birds in the sky, to San Francisco, or on a raft floating along the Mighty Mississippi, or a car with Jack and Neal seeking "It" somewhere in this great land. It was in all a thoroughly enjoyable read and a book that I will, as with all of Ferlinghetti's collections, cherish in my heart, often misquote, and revisit now and again.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Max Nemtsov

    Импрессионистская и экспрессионистская панорама мифологической и культурно-стереотипизированной Америки, отнюдь не «поток сознания», конечно, как об этом сообщается на обложке: это тоже очень дисциплинированный наброс, полив, очень эмоциональный, с узнаваемыми и любимыми деталями. Такое пособие по Американе как она есть. Методологически это Дос-Пассосов монтаж и коллаж, где между строк задается вопрос: куда же подевалась эта мифоАмерика, которую мы так любим (в канон теперь включены и битники, кс Импрессионистская и экспрессионистская панорама мифологической и культурно-стереотипизированной Америки, отнюдь не «поток сознания», конечно, как об этом сообщается на обложке: это тоже очень дисциплинированный наброс, полив, очень эмоциональный, с узнаваемыми и любимыми деталями. Такое пособие по Американе как она есть. Методологически это Дос-Пассосов монтаж и коллаж, где между строк задается вопрос: куда же подевалась эта мифоАмерика, которую мы так любим (в канон теперь включены и битники, кстати). А в самих строках — ответ: никуда, она по-прежнему здесь, нужно только прищуриться с любовью и хорошенько рассмотреть. Любовь вообще тут не случайное слово. «Время полезного сознания» — это очередная (и довольно свежая, 2012-го года) разновидность «Братской ГЭС» по Америке, с одной лишь разницей: в русско-советской традиции поэм о любви к родине кот наплакал (разве что «За далью даль»), а в Штатах и ненулевое количество (и практически на все в тексте этой Ферлингетти так или иначе ссылается, отчего «ВПС» превращается в занимательный гипертекст). Так вот, о любви к родине. У Ферлингетти она не прокламируемая, не идеологизированная — она вполне мучительна и критична, нынешнюю Америку-то поругать — милое дело. Но в этом и ответ на (незаданный) вопрос, почему нет такого на русском. Твардовский и Евтушенко, как бы мы к ним ни относились, судя по всему, по-настоящему любили этот уродский имперский конструкт под названием СССР. Ругать-то не слишком ругали, но — любили. А нынешнюю геополитическую ебанину любить невозможно. Вот никто и не любит. Любили бы — писали бы талантливые поэмы. А их нет. И никто не ищет ни героев, ни культурных символов (ну не считать же таковыми всерьез тех картонных буратин, которых пытается сейчас насадить власть). А все почему? А все потому, что «национальная идея» США на самом деле — т.н. «американская мечта», она проросла из «корней травы», а не насадилась сверху, как газон. У русских (в широком смысле) такой мечты никогда не было, если не считать конкретную и материальную мечту крепостных о «земле и воле». Она вроде бы похожа на «американскую», но не совсем. «Земля и воля» и были в этом смысле последним источником вдохновения для поэзии. А теперь и мечты-то нет, разве что — сбросить эту ебаную власть нахуй. Да и то сильно не у всех, потому что значительная часть населения готова целоваться с нею взасос. В Штатах же, как видим, даже в 2012 году «национальная идея» способна вдохновлять собой поэзию, ибо на что же еще она годится?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Barry Wightman

    Lawrence Ferlinghetti, proprietor of the venerable City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco and publisher of such landmark poems as Allen Ginsberg's Howl, and other Beat poets, is a poet too, but he says he's not a Beat. I suppose that true - this new little volume isn't a collection of poems - it's a stream of consciousness road trip across today's America in prose and poetry, with special attention to place. Place. The map of America, a favorite subject of mine. And Chicago, Las Vegas and San Fr Lawrence Ferlinghetti, proprietor of the venerable City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco and publisher of such landmark poems as Allen Ginsberg's Howl, and other Beat poets, is a poet too, but he says he's not a Beat. I suppose that true - this new little volume isn't a collection of poems - it's a stream of consciousness road trip across today's America in prose and poetry, with special attention to place. Place. The map of America, a favorite subject of mine. And Chicago, Las Vegas and San Francisco are major stops on the trip. It's deep history, jazzy, radical. Ferlinghetti says that "'Time of useful consciousness' is an aeronautical term denoting the time between when one loses oxygen and when one passes out, the brief time in which some lifesaving action is possible." And I say poetry, at its best, is always a lifesaving, radical action.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mary-Marcia

    Second time through. Appreciated it all the more this memorial day weekend, the historical spin and hopeful spirit of the long lived Lawrence Ferlinghetti and his love for America.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christy Baker

    I remember first reading Ferlinghetti, perhaps in the late 80's or mid-90's, and being drawn in by a type of poet so different than the standard forms one is introduced to in high schools across America. His words sang with a different rhythm and I felt entranced by the stories he told in his own way, a way new to me who was just coming to see something different than the background of tight and neat lines and rhymes and ordered words. While I've not read much of his work, the chance encounter w I remember first reading Ferlinghetti, perhaps in the late 80's or mid-90's, and being drawn in by a type of poet so different than the standard forms one is introduced to in high schools across America. His words sang with a different rhythm and I felt entranced by the stories he told in his own way, a way new to me who was just coming to see something different than the background of tight and neat lines and rhymes and ordered words. While I've not read much of his work, the chance encounter with Time of Useful Consciousness reminded me of why I need to read more of his body of work. The first encounter was in my late teens or early twenties; now at mid-life, I appreciate his wandering thru time and place even more. Time of Useful Consciousness was a trip thru 80's nuclear era politics and 50's road trip beat journeys, from 60's love-ins to more modern day musings on what matters now. What is useful now. What is our history and what do we make of these pieces, what can we do with what we know. Are we awake enough still to use that consciousness? His poetry feels to me like there is far more weight and serious endeavor and intelligence behind each line than whole books worth by some other modern poets. This is poetry that doesn't deliver simple pleasure and cute metaphors, but is crafted with a keen mind and speaks to the same.

  6. 4 out of 5

    David Williams

    You like a beat poet? You like an unvarnished look at America? gotchasommabothrighthere. Very good. It's a celebration of America without all the dang navelgazing (and maybe without all the celebration). This collection is, what, 89 pages?, and yet feels so full and fairly dripping with characters (many fake, many more much less so).

  7. 5 out of 5

    Frank Karioris

    "brings the Sixties to an end sometime in the Seventies" A book that is as relaxed in its writing as it is tense and tight in its travels across a country. The work gives little ground for stopping to sleep, but ensures the goal of always seeing the important pieces that sit just out of sight. I particularly enjoy IV, but thats because of my affinity for Chicago.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sara Khayat

    A good road trip through America & its history. Since the book was published in 2012, I expected a bit more. The book seemed a little outdated for its time. The history was cool, and the writing was engaging, but I think its overall message was lacking contemporary allusions. (Where's Obama?!) A good road trip through America & its history. Since the book was published in 2012, I expected a bit more. The book seemed a little outdated for its time. The history was cool, and the writing was engaging, but I think its overall message was lacking contemporary allusions. (Where's Obama?!)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mimi Wolske

    I read that the title is an aeronautical term for the period between the moment you run out of oxygen and the time you cease to be able to function. As such, it is a dire warning for America. And, it is worth the time you will spend reading/digesting it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    America America! "stranger than paradise" From the first poem in the book, that sums up the subject of this strange and marvelous collection from the old Beatnik Lawrence Ferlinghetti. In nine free-verse, stream of consciousness poems, Ferlinghetti rolls back and forth over American history, with a particular eye to Progressive causes. From the first oblique reference to Occupy Wall Street (In that hinternation/that stretches westward from Manhattan/autumn finds the people restless) to "The jazz America America! "stranger than paradise" From the first poem in the book, that sums up the subject of this strange and marvelous collection from the old Beatnik Lawrence Ferlinghetti. In nine free-verse, stream of consciousness poems, Ferlinghetti rolls back and forth over American history, with a particular eye to Progressive causes. From the first oblique reference to Occupy Wall Street (In that hinternation/that stretches westward from Manhattan/autumn finds the people restless) to "The jazz age Pickle populated for starters by Wobblies, old Haymarket rads, Bughouse square soapboxers, anarcho-pacifists..." etc, Ferlinghetti limns "The forward rush of time and history". The poet mixes prose and poetry, high and low culture, politics, and some surprisingly literary references in these challenging but vibrant poems. Particularly striking is his striking view in poem IV of Chicago: "To Chicago! Chicago! by coach or Pullman or boxcar Shantytowns brick hovels hotels palaces built with hogs" He carries on to the airport, to the Blue Line, up through the Near North Side, through the Loop, to the Lake and onward, always with an eye to the city's history: "And life 'goes on'...with the populists and the socialists and the anarchists and the Chicago Surrealists... and the Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company giving voice to them with many a brave book and pamphlet." Colorful, vibrant poetry--a slim volume, well worth the time, and worth coming back to and re-reading.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Scott Lee

    This really feels to me like Ferlinghetti's answer to Eliot's "The Wasteland," complete with untranslated bits in Indian languages...Ferlinghetti pushes us through a nightmare America in which greed, consumerism and hypocritical arrogance and moral superiority have nearly destroyed us all. His final section steps back and expresses hope in at least the ideals of America, though, and of our potential to step past our weaknesses and begin moving once again toward out potential. i doubt Ferlinghett This really feels to me like Ferlinghetti's answer to Eliot's "The Wasteland," complete with untranslated bits in Indian languages...Ferlinghetti pushes us through a nightmare America in which greed, consumerism and hypocritical arrogance and moral superiority have nearly destroyed us all. His final section steps back and expresses hope in at least the ideals of America, though, and of our potential to step past our weaknesses and begin moving once again toward out potential. i doubt Ferlinghetti and I would agree on much of anything politically, but his demand that we hold ourselves to our principles and take our ideals seriously is something I wish more Americans strove for and more artists demanded of us.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nora

    Ferlinghetti is obviously channeling Whitman and Ginsberg here (he says as much), but I also found it a bit reminiscent of T.S. Eliot with all the obscure and not-so-obscure references and quotes and paraphrases thrown into the poems. (And he even paraphrases Eliot's "Where the women come and go...") Not sure this is my favorite Ferlinghetti collection, but I liked it. It's basically a love poem to America's pioneers and workers and travelers and I think the form of the collections really works Ferlinghetti is obviously channeling Whitman and Ginsberg here (he says as much), but I also found it a bit reminiscent of T.S. Eliot with all the obscure and not-so-obscure references and quotes and paraphrases thrown into the poems. (And he even paraphrases Eliot's "Where the women come and go...") Not sure this is my favorite Ferlinghetti collection, but I liked it. It's basically a love poem to America's pioneers and workers and travelers and I think the form of the collections really works to create that feeling of expansiveness and journey. It almost read like a poetic reflection on Kerouac's On the Road and Easy Rider.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Danny

    Described by Ferlinghetti as a description of the "stream of consciousness" style of writing that made so many of his Beat contemporaries popular, I found this book as interesting and unpredictable as other stream of consciousness poetry collections, but also far more focused and accessible. The Beats all died too young, but for Ferlinghetti who wrote this book in his nineties - I'm grateful one of them stayed around long enough to reflect on their movement many decades after they pioneered it. Described by Ferlinghetti as a description of the "stream of consciousness" style of writing that made so many of his Beat contemporaries popular, I found this book as interesting and unpredictable as other stream of consciousness poetry collections, but also far more focused and accessible. The Beats all died too young, but for Ferlinghetti who wrote this book in his nineties - I'm grateful one of them stayed around long enough to reflect on their movement many decades after they pioneered it. A solid collection.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ralph

    A romp through the political and cultural landscape by the guru of the left. If you love Ferlinghetti as I do, it's a 'must-read'. Not sure it's his greatest poetry. I still love Coney Island of the Mind.

  15. 4 out of 5

    John Burroughs

    According to Ferlinghetti, "Time of Useful Consciousness" is "an aeronautical term denoting the time between between when one loses oxygen and when one passes out." I'm glad I spent a fraction of mine reading this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    A solid 4.5 and I totally rounded up, the man's a legend.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joel Gutzki

  18. 4 out of 5

    Octavio Solis

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jerome Bruce Masters

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jui-Ting Hsu

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

  22. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dave Holt

  24. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nick Nordlinger

  26. 5 out of 5

    A

  27. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Gaydos

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jill Schepmann

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andreas

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