Here’s your question for the week:
Who are your five favorite poets, and why?
Mine, in no particular order, are:
1. Allen Ginsberg. The man gave a voice to disenfranchised youth, confronted ignorance in court, scored a victory for the First Amendment, and broadened the very definition of art. Made pretty deft use of imagery, too. If I could own a copy of only one poem, “Howl” would be it.
2. Lawrence Ferlinghetti. In addition to being a pretty great poet in his own right, Ferlinghetti founded City Lights Books, published Ginsberg, and set off the court case referenced above. Fifty-odd years later, he’s still toiling diligently to make sure promising young authors’ words are heard.
3. Jack Kerouac. If you don’t get it, buy a copy of Kicks Joy Darkness and listen to Johnny Depp’s reading of “Madroad Driving.” If you still don’t get it, I’m not sure we can be friends any more….
4. Langston Hughes. Probably the most powerful voice to come out of the Harlem Renaissance. No matter how many times I read “Dream Deferred,” it still gives me chills.
5. Dorothy Parker. She didn’t invent sarcasm, but she raised it to an art form. “Inventory” was one of my favorites back in college. “Three be the things I shall never attain….”
Who are your favorites?