Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Rookie (Bronxville, New York)

Constantly Risking Absurdity


Constantly risking absurdity
and death
whenever he performs
above the heads
of his audience
the poet like an acrobat
climbs on rime
to a high wire of his own making
and balancing on eyebeams
above a sea of faces
paces his way
to the other side of the day
performing entrachats
and sleight-of-foot tricks
and other high theatrics
and all without mistaking
any thing
for what it may not be
For he's the super realist
who must perforce perceive
taut truth
before the taking of each stance or step
in his supposed advance
toward that still higher perch
where Beauty stands and waits
with gravity
to start her death-defying leap
And he
a little charleychaplin man
who may or may not catch
her fair eternal form
spreadeagled in the empty air
of existence

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Form:


Do you like this poem?
10 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: death, truth, beauty, sea

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Constantly Risking Absurdity by Lawrence Ferlinghetti )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie Jacob Erin-cilberto (5/10/2008 9:53:00 AM)

    i love ferlihnghetti and have ever since my first modern american poetry class in 1970-

    i think 'constantly risking absurdity' is one of the great anthems for poets...
    we surely do risk absurdity and flying above the heads of our audiences, only because they often won't just see what they see.

    'i am waiting' is my favorite of his....but he has been an inspiration for my poetry for almost 40 years,

    thank you, lawrence (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Russell Beaty (12/4/2007 5:53:00 PM)

    Ferlinghetti was one strange man this poem was the only one that didnt depress me, I aslo like the charliechaplin man I thought that that made the poem (Report) Reply

  • Rookie David Peters (12/28/2006 5:02:00 PM)

    While I'm not generally a fan of Ferlinghetti's poems, I've always loved this one.

    It's sad to see that it is not formatted here the way he arranged it. Using the original format is critical if readers/listeners are to truly capture the meanings and emotional content of this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Stan Jelley (12/1/2004 12:12:00 AM)

    One of my favourite poems; sums up and illuminates like nothing else could the personal exposure and risk inherent in any creative act. The common farewell these days of Take Care is the very opposite. The final image of the charleychaplin man who may or may not catch beauty shows again the self-sacrificing risk in pursuit of success, satisfaction, or even audience acclaim. But how artistically and with what panache does Ferlinghetti express it! (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  4. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  5. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  6. If, Rudyard Kipling
  7. A Fairy Song, William Shakespeare
  8. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  9. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
  10. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost

Poem of the Day

poet Hilaire Belloc

Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,
It made one Gasp and Stretch one's Eyes;
Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth,
Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth,
Attempted to Believe Matilda:
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. This funny thing called Snow, Angell Afinowi
  2. One Last Chance, Abby Bilan
  3. Love Note 9, Michael P. McParland
  4. Lamentation of the Weak, Abby Bilan
  5. Love so unkempt..., Kenneth Maswabi
  6. morning conversation, oskar hansen
  7. Rescued, Ima Ryma
  8. Temptation of Xuanwu Lake, Luo Zhihai
  9. Ghazal: In Silence, Mimi Khalvati
  10. Awaiting for March, Rimni chakravarty
[Hata Bildir]