Jeremy Cohen Challenging General Education Students, and Ourselves San Francisco's inaugural poet laureate, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, first read his "Challenges to Young Poets" at the city's Annual High School Poetry Festival on February 3, 2001. "To be a poet at sixteen is to be sixteen, to be a poet at forty is to be a poet," Ferlinghetti told his youthful audience. "Be both," he counseled. Ferlinghetti isn't just any poet. His intellectual leadership is deeply grounded in experience and education. He was a U.S. Navy ship commander in World War II and is the recipient of an M.A. from Columbia University and a doctorate from the Sorbonne. He has influenced generations of writers, artists, academics, and citizens as the co-founder and owner of City Lights Bookstore. His own writing, and the work of others he has supported, takes it as axiomatic that the poet's mandate finds structure and substance not only (if at all) in the university, but also in everyday questions, emotions, and knowledge drawn from life beyond the classroom. The publisher of Allen Ginsberg's Howl & Other Poems, Ferlinghetti was anything but timid in his commitment to the value of a public commons. He was arrested, and
The Journal of General Education – Penn State University Press
Published: Sep 14, 2015
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