Don’t Let That Horse . . .

By Lawrence Ferlinghetti b. 1919 Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Don’t let that horse
                              eat that violin

    cried Chagall’s mother

                                     But he   
                      kept right on
                                     painting

And became famous

And kept on painting
                              The Horse With Violin In Mouth

And when he finally finished it
he jumped up upon the horse
                                        and rode away   
          waving the violin

And then with a low bow gave it
to the first naked nude he ran across


And there were no strings   
                                     attached

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, “Don’t Let That Horse...” from A Coney Island of the Mind. Copyright © 1958 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 Painting & Sculpture, Humor & Satire, Arts & Sciences

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Ekphrasis

 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 Painting & Sculpture, Humor & Satire, Arts & Sciences

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Ekphrasis

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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