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Constantly Risking Absurdity

Constantly Risking Absurdity

by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Constantly Risking Absurdity Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Why the crazy groovy poetic structure? How does the look of the poem contribute to the sound? What does it remind you of? Anything from the circus, maybe?
  2. Why does Ferlinghetti use the image of an acrobat as a metaphor for a poet and his work? How does his "death-defying" leap symbolize the risks a poet takes in his career?
  3. What are some of the magic-hat tricks a poet may use in his work? What's the purpose of these tricks? 
  4. Why is Beauty so important to the poet? Why is she risking it all with the poet? Couldn't she just hang back and brush her (figurative) hair? Since when is this a two-way street?
  5. If you had to characterize the poet-acrobat, what are some adjectives you'd use to describe him? If some of those adjectives appear to be contradictions of others, what does that say about a poet and his work?

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