Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Poetry as Insurgent Art [I am signaling you through the flames]

I am signaling you through the flames.

The North Pole is not where it used to be.

Manifest Destiny is no longer manifest.

Civilization self-destructs.

Nemesis is knocking at the door.

What are poets for, in such an age?
What is the use of poetry?

The state of the world calls out for poetry to save it.

If you would be a poet, create works capable of answering the challenge of apocalyptic times, even if this meaning sounds apocalyptic.

You are Whitman, you are Poe, you are Mark Twain, you are Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay, you are Neruda and Mayakovsky and Pasolini, you are an American or a non-American, you can conquer the conquerors with words....

Credit


From Poetry as Insurgent Art by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Copyright © 2007 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Used by permission of New Directions. All rights reserved.

Author


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: 2007-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/poetry-insurgent-art-i-am-signaling-you-through-flames