All posts tagged: Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Phillis Levin: “A Rhinoceros at the Prague Zoo”

Phillis Levin’s “A Rhinoceros at the Prague Zoo” is one of the lead poems in the Fall-Winter 2006-07 (v1.n2) issue of Poetry Northwest. When asked to submit a few comments about the piece, she provided us with an illuminating overview: “‘A Rhinoceros at the Prague Zoo’ was provoked into being by a photograph on the front page of the New York Times on August 14, 2002. When I picked up the paper that morning, I saw the picture of a rhinoceros hanging mid-air, his eyes covered by a blindfold, his belly surrounded by big red straps that looked just like suspenders (and they were, quite literally). The image appeared bizarre, almost comical. But the blindfold was disturbing, though it, too, possessed an aura of the absurd, since its pattern was so familiar (at first glance I did not comprehend what it actually was, one of those typical checkered napkins so common in pubs and taverns). “The caption explained the reason for the blindfold, and the dire nature of the situation in Prague, where the Vltava …