People Getting Divorced

By Lawrence Ferlinghetti b. 1919 Lawrence Ferlinghetti
People getting divorced
          riding around with their clothes in the car   
   and wondering what happened
                      to everyone and everything   
                         including their other
                                                pair of shoes
         And if you spy one
             then who knows what happened
                                             to the other
                                           with tongue alack   
   and years later not even knowing
                               if the other ever
                                        found a mate
                                  without splitting the seams   
                                     or remained intact
                                                          unlaced   
    and the sole
                     ah the soul
                                     a curious conception   
         hanging on somehow
                                     to walk again
                                                   in the free air   
                            once the heel
                                                 has been replaced

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, “People Getting Divorced” from Endless Life: Selected Poems. Copyright © 1976 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation, www.wwnorton.com/nd/welcome.htm.

Source: These Are My Rivers: New and Selected Poems (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1993)

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Poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti b. 1919

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

Subjects Separation & Divorce, Living

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Lawrence  Ferlinghetti

Biography

As poet, playwright, publisher, and activist, Lawrence Ferlinghetti helped to spark the San Francisco literary renaissance of the 1950s and the subsequent “Beat” movement. Like the Beats, Ferlinghetti felt strongly that art should be accessible to all people, not just a handful of highly educated intellectuals. His career has been marked by its constant challenge of the status quo; his poetry engages readers, defies popular . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Separation & Divorce, Living

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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