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Pomes All Sizes
     

Pomes All Sizes

3.3 3
by Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg (Introduction)
 

The original manuscript of this book, written between 1954 and 1965, has been in the safekeeping of City Lights all the years since Kerouac’s death in 1969. Reaching beyond the scope of his Mexico City Blues, here are pomes about Mexico and Tangier, Berkeley and the Bowery. Mid-fifties road poems, hymns and songs of God, drug poems, wine poems, dharma poems

Overview

The original manuscript of this book, written between 1954 and 1965, has been in the safekeeping of City Lights all the years since Kerouac’s death in 1969. Reaching beyond the scope of his Mexico City Blues, here are pomes about Mexico and Tangier, Berkeley and the Bowery. Mid-fifties road poems, hymns and songs of God, drug poems, wine poems, dharma poems and Buddhist meditations. Poems to Beat friends, goofball poems, quirky haiku, and a fine, long elegy in “Canuckian Child Patoi Probably Medieval . . . an English blues.” But more than a quarter of a century after it was written, Pomes of All Sizes today would seem to be more than a sum of it parts, revealing a questing Kerouac grown beyond the popular image of himself as a Beat on the Road.

"Here is a treasure, in the mainstream of American Literature . . . lovely familiar classic Kerouacism's, nostalgic gathas from 1955 Berkeley cottage days, pure sober tender Kerouac of your yore, pithy exquisite later drunken laments and bitter nuts and verses . . . to be appreciated by cognoscenti and literate strangers alike . . . ." —from the Introduction by Allen Ginsberg

"Underlying this volume . . . is the drama of Kerouac the mystic, with his urge toward control, at odds with Kerouac the freewheeling Beat and, on a personal level, Kerouac the alcoholic. Yet as Ginsberg observes in his introduction, division–the sense of life as "both real and dream"–is the pervasive "spiritual intelligence" of the Beats. Given that, this is a perhaps ironically representative volume." —Publishers Weekly

"Here in Pomes All Sizes you discover the contemplative Kerouac, musing on the quiet meaning of things or thinking of friends in other places, casting his thoughts into "little short lines" and stopping exactly where the first thought stopped. There is delight to be gained here, poetic delight and a fuller picture of the great Kerouac persona which has relentlessly been reduced over the years to the well-known caricature of the graceless drunken beatnik lout. Bullshit! Kerouac, my friends, was full of grace, and a 'great creator of forms that ultimately find expression in mores and what have you.'" —John Sinclair

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) was a principal actor in the Beat Generation, and a companion of Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady in that great adventure. His books include On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Mexico City Blues, Lonesome Traveler, Visions of Cody, Scattered Poems (City Lights), and Scripture of the Golden Eternity (City Lights).

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
`` `Develop a pure / lucid mind' '' instructs Kerouac in ``Gatha,'' a poem in this miscellany of what Ginsberg ( Howl ) calls ``notebook jottings and little magazine items'' spanning 1954-1965. The poem's lines and title, referring to Zoroastrianism, signal the influence of Eastern philosophies on Kerouac's ( On the Road ) work. Stylistically, this influence displays itself in his uses of the verb ``to be.'' Lines like ``Enlightenment is: do what / you want / eat what there is'' have a calm, decisive tone and play a defining role, as if uttered after long, disciplined meditation. Another aspect of Kerouac's style directly clashes with this emphasis on clarity, however. He free-associates into a kind of linguistic clutter: ``ole Hotsatots dont footsie / down here bring my gruel, I'll / be cruel.'' Underlying this volume's hodgepodge, then, is the drama of Kerouac the mystic, with his urge toward control, at odds with Kerouac the freewheeling Beat and, on a personal level, Kerouac the alcoholic. Yet as Ginsberg observes in his introduction, division--the sense of life as ``both real and dream''--is the pervasive ``spiritual intelligence'' of the Beats. Given that, this is a perhaps ironically representative volume. (July)
Library Journal
This book, which Kerouac prepared for publication before his death in 1969, collects poems written between 1954 and 1965. Most are playful--comments about friends, variations on the sounds of words. Yet a few extremely sensitive longer pieces appear, including ``Caritas,'' in which the poet runs after a barefoot beggar boy to give him money for shoes and then begins to doubt the boy's veracity. Other intriguing poems reflect the poet's religious concerns of the moment, running the gamut of Eastern and Western religions. Allen Ginsberg's introduction is a disappointment; he rehashes views on Kerouac's Mexico City Blues , laments that his old friend's poems are not anthologized, but barely discusses the poems collected here (many of which contain confusing allusions that could have used some clarification). In general, this book will be appreciated mainly for the light it sheds on Beat literature and on Kerouac's other works. In the next two years, three more of Kerouac's unpublished manuscripts, long held up by the estate, will be published.--Ed.-- Rochelle Ratner, formerly Poetry Editor, ``Soho Weekly News,'' New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780872862692
Publisher:
City Lights Books
Publication date:
01/01/2001
Series:
City Lights Pocket Poets Series , #48
Pages:
175
Sales rank:
1,300,577
Product dimensions:
6.48(w) x 4.98(h) x 0.47(d)

Meet the Author

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) was an American novelist, poet, and painter most closely associated with the Beat Movement of the 1950s. His most famous works include On the Road, The Dharma Bums, and Big Sur, several of which have been adapted into films. In 1959 Kerouac released his collection of poems Mexico City Blues. Few authors can claim as large an influence on American culture as Jack Kerouac and his examinations of youth and rebellion.

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Pomes All Sizes 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kerouac's poems are not for everyone. But if your the type of person that notices the little things in life, like the defeated face that a gas station cashier may wear, or the deep wrinkles of your grandmothers hands, or the morning songs of sparrows, than these are the poems for you. The wonder of Kerouac is that he takes all of the very real matters of the soul and deals with them so simply, so delicately. He may have lived awhile ago, but whenever I read any of his work I feel like I am connecting to a kindred spirit. He knows the world, in all its harshness and majesty. He is one of the few people that just get it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this collection of kerouac's poems was a great dissapointment. i love his fiction (especially on the road), but his poetry left something to be desired.