Pomes All Sizes

Pomes All Sizes

3.3 3
by Jack Kerouac
     
 

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

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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.

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

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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:
1,323,489
Product dimensions:
6.48(w) x 4.98(h) x 0.47(d)

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