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Constantly Risking Absurdity Summary & Analysis
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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The American Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti first published "Constantly Risking Absurdity" in his 1958 collection A Coney Island of the Mind. The poem compares the poet to an acrobat who must perform difficult, dangerous, and—if they fail—potentially humiliating tricks in the service of mesmerizing the audience. Yet only by risking failure, the poem suggests, does the poet have any chance at capturing something that is not only beautiful and true, but that will also stand the test of time.

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