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Constantly Risking Absurdity
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1. To what sort of performer is the poet compared?
Trapeze artist and a tight rope walker
2. Name at least 3 feat of the poet/performer.
1. “performing entrechats
and sleight-of-foot tricks
and other high theatrics
and all without mistaking
any thing”
The poet/performer permorms mistakes without mistakes.
2. “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”
Faces possible failure as the poet/performer advances.
3. “Constantly risking absurdity
and death
whenever he performs
above the heads
of his audience”
The performer/poet risks absurdity to express themselves.
3. What picture of the poet does Ferlinghetti create by calling him a "little charleychaplin man?" Contrast this image with that of beauty in lines 25-26. What does this contrast suggest about the relationship between a poet and art? Create links to Charley Chaplin information sites or to a Charley Chaplin short feature on the web.
Charley Chaplin was a famous actor in movies before movies had sound, he was well known and popular. So by comparing Charley Chaplin to the performer/poet you understand that the person was good and liked for what they did.
4. Define realist. Since super means both "above" and to "a greater degree, what two ideas about poetry does Ferlinghetti suggest when he says that the poet is a "super realist."
Realist is one of the seven attitudes. Its positive pole is perception; its negative pole is supposition. Realists view the world in terms of what is; they focus on a situation's objective facts.
5. Find three example of Ferlinghetti's inventiveness with language (puns, compound words, etc.) and describe the effects of each.
Ferlingehetti uses: metaphors, similes, metonymy, and synecdoche to express their emotion, they also included specific diction.
6. What is the tone of the poem? Explain.
The tone of the poem is someone flustered and panicked, but at the same time admirable.

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