A Coney Island of the Mind, 13

Not like Dante

                     discovering a commedia

                                                       upon the slopes of heaven

I would paint a different kind

                                           of Paradiso

in which the people would be naked

                                            as they always are

                                                                   in scenes like that

                                          because it is supposed to be

                                                                a painting of their souls

but there would be no anxious angels telling them

                      how heaven is

                                          the perfect picture of

                                                                       a monarchy

                    and there would be no fires burning

                                        in the hellish holes below

                            in which I might have stepped

                    nor any altars in the sky except

                                                               fountains of imagination

From A Coney Island of the Mind. Copyright © 1958 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.