The Legacy of Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Jack Hirschman Honors Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Jack Hirschman has been SF Poet Laureate (2006 – 2008), founder of the ‘Revolutionary Poets Brigade’ and close friend of Lawrence over the last few decades.  Jack honors his dear friend Lawrence Ferlinghetti with this poem. Thanks to Dennis Hearne for the photo of Lawrence’s famous hat on display at City Light’s Books in SF.



by Jack Hirschman
In Memory of Lawrence Ferlinghetti
For Elaine Katzenberger

Addio, Lawrence,
for works well done,
for the poems and
paintings, and the
stands taken for
causes in need of
spreading the word,

you poppalist,
anarchist, common
nest for red birds
and black to fly
into and out of.
You’ve long been
honored and now

that you belong to
what ages are left
in this holocaustic
pandemic for us all,
we know that your
passing has left the
world angelically

filled with the light
of all you’ve been:
a fighter but reticent,
a righteous warrior
but gentle of spirit.
That’s why the night
of the day you died

I was embraced by
an angel who loved
you so much she
kept you breathing
by way of her own
breathlessness, and
is now transfigured

in the modesty she’s
brought to you who
first brought it to her
who can now show
the world the Glory
of the Book we all
know, despite burial

or cremation or any
number of ways your
death is described,
the Book which is
opened at the cover
and into whose depth
you are lain, not to be

buried at all, but to be
read and read and read.