Published on Academy of American Poets (

A Coney Island of the Mind, 20

The pennycandystore beyond the El
is where I first 
                       fell in love
                                        with unreality
Jellybeans glowed in the semi-gloom
of that september afternoon
A cat upon the counter moved among
                                              the licorice sticks
                         and tootsie rolls
            and Oh Boy Gum

Outside the leaves were falling as they died

A wind had blown away the sun

A girl ran in
Her hair was rainy
Her breasts were breathless in the little room

Outside the leaves were falling
                                  and they cried
                                                       Too soon! too soon!


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


Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Poet and translator Lawrence Ferlinghetti is the author of more than thirty books of poetry and the founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers in San Francisco, California.

Date Published: 1958-01-01

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