Famous Poets

If there is a famous poet you would like to learn more about, send your suggestion to Sol.Magazine@prodigy.net addressed to Mary Burlingame, Features Editor.  Place Famous Poet in the subject of your note.  In the body of the note, include the full name of the poet, how you heard of that poet, and your full name, address and phone number.

"Federico Garcia Lorca,"
by Mary Burlingame, Features Editor

Federico García Lorca (1898 - 1936)

Lorca was born in Fuente Vaqueros, Spain, the son of a wealthy farmer. He earned a Law degree from the University of Madrid, but chose a career in theater and poetry.  In 1919 he moved to Madrid where he lived in the intellectual center. His friends included film maker Luis Bunuel, Pablo Neruda and Salvador Dalí.  At the beginning of the Spanish civil war, he was killed by Falangist soldiers, then his books were banned and destroyed.  Today he is considered one of the greatest poets of Spain.

His poems are sombre, sometimes disquieting, but alive with emotion.  His musical skill is evident in his use of repetition; many poems read like songs.  Some poems are tortured or ambiguous while other lean toward surrealism.

Lorca wrote five books of poetry, including Romancero Gitano [The Gypsey Ballads] (Madrid, 1928), Poema del Cante Jondo [Poem of the Deep Song] (1931), and Poeta en Nueva York [Poet in New York] (1940) published posthumously.

Influences: the beauty of the Granada country side, flamenco music, social inequity, sexual frustration, his travels through Spain, America, and Argentina.

Poems to look for: "The Faithless Wife," "Adam," "Dawn," "Ode to Walt Whitman."

For more information about Federico García Lorca, visit

"Lawrence Ferlinghetti"
by Mary Burlingame, Features Editor
Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919 - )

Born in Yonkers, New York, Lawrence Ferlinghetti spent his early childhood in France, but he only learned to speak English at the age of five, when he returned to America.  Ferlinghetti began writing poetry during his years at boarding school in the late 1920's.  He received his B.A. from the University of North Carolina, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from the Sorbonne.  During World War II he served in the US Naval Reserve and was sent to Nagasaki shortly after it was bombed.  In 1953, Ferlinghetti and Peter Martin began to publish City Lights magazine. They opened the City Lights Books Shop in San Francisco to  support the magazine. In 1955, they began City Light Publishing, a book-publishing venture. City Lights became known as the center of the "Beat" movement.

Ferlinghetti is the author of more than thirty books of poetry, including Americus, Book I (2004), San Francisco Poems (2002), How to Paint Sunlight (2001), A Far Rockaway of the Heart (1997), These Are My Rivers: New & Selected Poems, 1955-1993 (1993), Over All the Obscene Boundaries: European Poems & Transitions (1984), Who Are We Now? (1976), The Secret Meaning of Things (1969), and A Coney Island of the Mind (1958).

In 1994, San Francisco renamed a street in his honor.  He was also named the first Poet Laureate of San Francisco in 1998. In 2000, he received the lifetime achievement award from the National Book Critics Circle.

Major themes: anarchy, mass corruption, engagement, and a belief in the surreality and wonder of life.

Influences: Hemingway, Faulkner, Dos Passos and Wolfe.

Poems to look for: "Constantly Risking Absurdity," "I am Waiting," "Wild Dreams of a New Beginning," "Seascape with Sun and Eagle," "A Vast Confusion," "Bird with Two Right Wings," and "Baseball Canto."

For more information about Lawrence Ferlinghetti, visit http://www.citylights.com/CLlf.html

John Gorman

Photo Credits: Mary M. Carlisle (left) -- Marilyn Broderick (right)

Robert Frost

The heart can think of no devotion
Greater than being shore to the ocean ----
Holding the curve of one position,
Counting an endless repetition.

Langston Hughes

"...the human soul entire,
squeezed like a lemon or a lime,
drop by drop,
into atomic words."