Press "Enter" to skip to content

“That’s Why It’s Poetry”


Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet and publisher, died yesterday. Among other things, Ferlinghetti published Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, and was prosecuted for obscenity because of that. One particular passage from that trial sticks in my head, as reported in Edward de Grazia, Girls Lean Back Everywhere 335-36 (1992); the colloquy was with an expert witness, literary critic Mark Schorer, who was testifying to the poem having “redeeming social importance“:

Prosecutor: I presume you understand the whole thing, is that right?:

Schorer: I hope so. It’s not always easy to know that one understands exactly what a contemporary poet is saying….

Prosecutor: Do you understand what “angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night” means?

Schorer: Sir, you can’t translate poetry into prose. That’s why it’s poetry.

As reported by Continue reading this article at

The Daily Reformer  Mail-in Voting Is NOW A Security Concern, Executive Orders Are Cool Again

All news text, graphics, videos and multimedia content remain the copyrights of the credited original article publisher, in this case -

The Daily Reformer is an American conservative news aggregator and publisher with a mission to provide "the smart take on American conservative news.

The Daily Reformer  Lighting Up the 'Midnight' of Our Current Society

Contact Information: amnon (at) thedailyreformer dot com