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Collected Poems: 1947-1997
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Collected Poems: 1947-1997

4.7 19
by Allen Ginsberg
 

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Here, for the first time, is a volume that gathers the published verse of Allen Ginsberg in its entirety, a half century of brilliant work from one of America's great poets. The chief figure among the Beats, Ginsberg changed the course of American poetry, liberating it from closed academic forms with the creation of open, vocal, spontaneous, and energetic

Overview

Here, for the first time, is a volume that gathers the published verse of Allen Ginsberg in its entirety, a half century of brilliant work from one of America's great poets. The chief figure among the Beats, Ginsberg changed the course of American poetry, liberating it from closed academic forms with the creation of open, vocal, spontaneous, and energetic postmodern verse in the tradition of Walt Whitman, Guillaume Apollinaire, Hart Crane, Ezra Pound, and William Carlos Williams. Ginsberg's classics Howl, Reality Sandwiches, Kaddish, Planet News, and The Fall of America led American (and international) poetry toward uncensored vernacular, explicit candor, the ecstatic, the rhapsodic, and the sincere—all leavened by an attractive and pervasive streak of common sense. Ginsberg's raw tones and attitudes of spiritual liberation also helped catalyze a psychological revolution that has become a permanent part of our cultural heritage, profoundly influencing not only poetry and popular song and speech, but also our view of the world.

The uninterrupted energy of Ginsberg's remarkable career is clearly revealed in this collection. Seen in order of composition, the poems reflect on one another; they are not only works but also a work. Included here are all the poems from the earlier volume Collected Poems 1947-1980, and from Ginsberg's subsequent and final three books of new poetry: White Shroud, Cosmopolitan Greetings, and Death & Fame. Enriching this book are illustrations by Ginsberg's artist friends; unusual and illuminating notes to the poems, inimitably prepared by the poet himself; extensive indexes; as well as prefaces and various other materials that accompanied the original publications.

Editorial Reviews

The Post and Courier
“Essential…COLLECTED POEMS…is easily the best of the bunch…Some 50 years later, Ginsberg’s talent still glows on paper.”
San Diego Union-Tribune
“he wrote any number of splendid, singular poems that no other American poet of our age was capable of penning…”
Chicago Sun-Times
“There’s a lot to like...the current volume testifies to the poet’s scope and indefatigable energy.”
The Progressive
“Ginsberg’s poems are reminders that those who face a culture’s disapproval can approve themselves.”
Salt Lake City Tribune
“The volume gathers for the first time all the published verse of...poet Ginsberg...A history...of a turbulent time.”
Los Angeles Times
“If you want to read Ginsberg’s poetry, you should go straight to the source. COLLECTED POEMS 1947-1997 gathers everything.”
Chicago Tribune
“The COLLECTED POEMS” are the ultimate statement on Ginsberg’s art.”
Washington Post Book World
“The mammoth new COLLECTED POEMS, 1947-1997 places Ginsberg firmly among the most prolific poets of the age.”
New York Times
“A...brilliant volume that shows Ginsberg...to be not only a legendary protest writer but also a lyric poet.”
The New Yorker
“Taken all together, Ginsberg’s poems are X-rays of a considerable part of American society during the last four decades.”
Houston Chronicle
“Sooner or later, anyone interested in American poetry must embrace Allen Ginsberg.”
"I'm happy, Kerouac, your madman Allen's / finally made it." When hipster Allen Ginsberg wrote about a newfound love in 1955, he could have scarcely imagined the world renown that would follow shortly. (Years later, he would be astonished when a Budapest audience repeated lines from his "Howl" aloud -- in English.) Collected Poems: 1947-1997 gathers together a full half century of Ginsberg's "reality sandwiches," 1,216 pages that reconfirm our sense that there is no one alive like him.
Publishers Weekly
Counterculture icon, beat apostle, Buddhist chanter, heir to William Blake, unapologetic explorer of intoxicating substances, world traveler, political protest leader, celebrant of gay sex, chronicler of New Jersey Jewish heritage and of Lower East Side post-hippie bohemians, Ginsberg (1926-1997) became by the midpoint of his career the most famous American poet of his era. At first hardworking and tormented, later on a spontaneous, welcoming mentor, the writer who in Howl (1956) "saw the best minds of my generation starving hysterical naked," and who mourned his psychotic mother in the wrenching title poem of Kaddish (1960) kept creating entertaining (if not quite so innovative) poems, for almost three decades after he rose to fame. This first complete collection of Ginsberg's work reproduces his 1980 Collected Poems including all the extensive notes: here are "Howl" and "Kaddish" and the great anti-Vietnam War poem "Wichita Vortex Sutra"; here too are the poems about Prague and Cornwall, Benares and Shanghai and the Australian outback, the songs and chants in quatrains (with sheet music) and the unashamed odes to beautiful young men. This complete edition adds White Shroud (1986), Cosmopolitan Greetings (1994) and the aptly titled Death and Fame: Last Poems (2000). A hefty, vivid and important tome, it should remind us just how much Ginsberg accomplished. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal

All the energy of the icon-shattering Howl is found in this thoroughgoing collection of Ginsberg's work-a half-century of ground-breaking poetry in one hefty tome measuring over 1000 pages. (LJ9/15/06)


—Barbara Hoffert

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061139758
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/09/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
1216
Sales rank:
206,280
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.94(d)

Read an Excerpt

Collected Poems 1947-1997

In Society

I walked into the cocktail party
room and found three or four queers
talking together in queertalk.
I tried to be friendly but heard
myself talking to one in hiptalk.
"I'm glad to see you," he said, and
looked away. "Hmn," I mused. The room
was small and had a double-decker
bed in it, and cooking apparatus:
icebox, cabinet, toasters, stove;
the hosts seemed to live with room
enough only for cooking and sleeping.
My remark on this score was understood
but not appreciated. I was
offered refreshments, which I accepted.
I ate a sandwich of pure meat; an
enormous sandwich of human flesh,
I noticed, while I was chewing on it,
it also included a dirty asshole.

More company came, including a
fluffy female who looked like
a princess. She glared at me and
said immediately: "I don't like you,"
turned her head away, and refused
to be introduced. I said, "What!"
in outrage. "Why you shit-faced fool!"
This got everybody's attention.
"Why you narcissistic bitch! How
can you decide when you don't even
know me," I continued in a violent
and messianic voice, inspired at
last, dominating the whole room

Dream New York–Denver, Spring 1947

Collected Poems 1947-1997. Copyright © by Allen Ginsberg. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Allen Ginsberg was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as a winner of the National Book Award for Poetry. He was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1926, and died in New York City in 1997.

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Collected Poems: 1947-1997 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Gpalmer More than 1 year ago
This is an awesome tome! By publishing all of Ginsberg's work in chronological order, one gets the full weight of an autobiographical work through the poetry. I think this book is a requirement for the seasoned Ginsberg aficionado and a true asset for anyone interested in exploring the natural evolution of his poetry from rigid form to his signature open style. Complete with author's notes, this volume is a true success!
RainyDayWoman More than 1 year ago
The collected poems of Allen Ginsberg, is a wonderful and mind-stimulating read. Each poem leaves one in awe and wonderment over Ginsberg's well-crafted and freestyle verses. This book is great for the beatnik,the hippie, the poet, the writer, the young, the old, the skeptic, the anarchist, the cynic; for anyone who is open and willing to enter the mind of a brilliant and influential poet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Holy holy everything is holy
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robcdefgabc More than 1 year ago
"It is not the poet but what he observes which is revealed as obscene," Lawrence Ferlinghetti quote about the obscenity charge against the release of howl in 1956.
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Yoogoh