Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poem, “The World Is a Beautiful Place…,” is written in a ping-pong pattern. To the reader’s eyes, this poetic form can be confusing and stressful to interpret, or understand, the poet’s representation of what really lies between the lines in this poem. The lines are constantly broken apart; they sometimes linger, or pause abruptly. In addition, while reading this poem, the reader will instinctively read slower or faster at certain sections of the poem due to its sudden use of rhyme. This is what makes this poem interesting. The reader can not only read this poem once to understand it. It takes multiple readings and great thought to decipher that the poet actually uses this pattern in this poem to depict life’s difficulties, abrupt pauses, lingering suffering, and sometimes broken dreams. This poems reveals that sometimes, during the suffering, dying, or during our “upturned faces” things may seem slow, because we linger on our problems, or as the poets depicts, “a touch of hell now and then.” During our battles, our “improprieties” preyed by “its men of instinction…of extinction…and its various segregations and congressional investigations and other constipations” the world may seem ...
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... He incorporates the images of heaven and hell, which amusingly one can vision although one may never be able experience. As he describes the world’s imperfections, he uses dramatic imageries of people dying and starving, and bombs. Then, he changes to admirable images of smiling faces, dancing, and what he calls “the fun scene…and the love scene” as he depicts the world’s beauty.
This is what makes this a poem. The poet has created ways to depict his thoughts in a sense that is descriptive to the mind only. It is difficult to understand this poems until you have actually thought about it, which is exactly what Ferlinghetti wants the reader to accomplish.
Ferlinghetti, Lawrence. “The World Is a Beautiful Place…” Literature and Its Writers. 5th ed. Charters, Ann, and Samuel Charters. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. 828-29. Print.
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