The World Is a Beautiful Place by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Topics: Personal life, Philosophy of life, Thought Pages: 5 (1212 words) Published: March 11, 2013
The world is a beautiful place
to be born into
if you don't mind happiness
not always being
so very much fun
if you don't mind a touch of hell
now and then
just when everything is fine
because even in heaven
they don't sing
all the time

The world is a beautiful place
to be born into
if you don't mind some people dying
all the time
or maybe only starving
some of the time
which isn't half bad
if it isn't you

Oh the world is a beautiful place
to be born into
if you don't much mind
a few dead minds
in the higher places
or a bomb or two
now and then
in your upturned faces
or such other improprieties
as our Name Brand society
is prey to
with its men of distinction
and its men of extinction
and its priests
and other patrolmen

and its various segregations
and congressional investigations
and other constipations
that our fool flesh
is heir to

Yes the world is the best place of all
for a lot of such things as 
making the fun scene
and making the love scene
and making the sad scene
and singing low songs and having inspirations
and walking around
looking at everything
and smelling flowers
and goosing statues
and even thinking
and kissing people and
making babies and wearing pants
and waving hats and
and going swimming in rivers
on picnics
in the middle of the summer
and just generally
'living it up' 
but then right in the middle of it 
comes the smiling

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The beauty of the world presented in a highly sarcastic tone as the outcome of both misery and bliss is the subject of Ferlinghtetti`s poem. A world of contrasts where death and life shake hands and where the reality of human condition and social problems is constantly raised. Society and its values as well as the absurdities of human expectations are mocked and criticized in a sarcastic manner. The poem could be seen as a piece of criticism against modern society or as a mode of living, offering in the case of the latter the ideal way of life interpretation, which is the don`t mind philosophy. The irony that is sensed in each stanza is due to the absence of a beautiful place to live in. The Earth is just one immense place populated by billions of people and divided by means of political and cultural organization and thus the view of the world varies, even if it were the case of people pertaining to the same society. Basically, everything in life depends on interpretation. First, the man comes into contact with an event or an action, then he forms certain thoughts regarding that event and these thoughts lead to interpretation and finally, based on this interpretation, feelings emerge from our mind. Hence, there are one world and billions of interpretations. Thus, the beauty of the world is a subjective aspect and not a universally known truth, but rather an interpretation that comes from within us. The world is indeed a beautiful place, as long as we know where and how to look. Regarded from this perspective, the poem teaches the reader how to discover this imaginary place. It is a sarcastic teaching, as a sense of judgment emerges from the lines. More seemingly the poet seems to criticize the hypocrisy of the people who choose to ignore the sufferings that take place all around them. However, this indifference is the source of human happiness and whether these people are to be judged or not for being in the pursuit of happiness is a question that remains without a right answer.

The poet attacks not only the man`s ideal of the world, but also his ideal of heaven, because even in heaven they don`t sing all the time. As in our life, a touch of hell seems to be inevitable and because hell has evolved from heaven, our world appears in this case as a reflection of a perverted heaven. The three stages of human existence, that is birth, development and death have a tinge of tragedy, especially the last one. Hence death is not viewed as something natural, as a result of...
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