Selected Poems, 1947-1995

Overview

Allen Ginsberg, one of America's most distinguished living poets, turned 70 this year. Selected Poems 1947-1995 commemorates his brilliant career and honors a landmark birthday. Ginsberg personally chose the selections for this handy volume and has written a retrospective Apologia that places the poems from each decade in their historical and literary context. Here are well-known masterpieces such as the lyric "Howl" and the narrative "Kaddish" - classic works of American literature - as well as more recent gems,...
See more details below
Paperback (1ST PERENN)
$17.29
BN.com price
(Save 8%)$18.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (26) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $10.66   
  • Used (17) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Allen Ginsberg, one of America's most distinguished living poets, turned 70 this year. Selected Poems 1947-1995 commemorates his brilliant career and honors a landmark birthday. Ginsberg personally chose the selections for this handy volume and has written a retrospective Apologia that places the poems from each decade in their historical and literary context. Here are well-known masterpieces such as the lyric "Howl" and the narrative "Kaddish" - classic works of American literature - as well as more recent gems, the long dream poem "White Shroud," the visionary "After Lalon," and the political rock lyric "The Ballad of the Skeletons." The pieces included in Selected Poems 1947-1995, which span five decades of work, document Ginsberg's spiritual path during a life devoted to exploring the creative possibilities of the conscious mind. Ginsberg's verse is always raw-toned, often whimsical, in both style and content, and displays elegant technical variety from singable exact lyrics to Sapphics to Skeltonics to twelve-bar blues to projective open-form verse and "spontaneous bop prosody." Ginsberg takes readers on a tour of his intelligence as a poet, from the transcendent-themed early poems such as "Magic Psalm" (1960) and "T.V. Baby" fragments (1961), to the poetic realism of the later 1960s with which he confronted and challenged a nation at war, to the integration of song (rags, ballads, and blues) into his poetic repertoire in the early 1970s. Many long poems - including "The Fall of America" and "Iron Horse" - have been edited to reveal exquisite passages hitherto unnoticed by many readers. Ginsberg's immersion in Eastern thought and his hands-on practice of Tibetan Buddhism is reflected in poems throughout this collection. In contrast, readers will delight in highlights of his erotic narrative "Contest of Bards" (1977), at once baroque and idiosyncratic, which was inspired in great part by a marathon reading of William Blake's complete poetry. His most recent
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Boston Globe
Brilliantly astute.
Library Journal
"This volume," states Ginsberg in a prefatory note, "summarizes what I deem most honest, most penetrant of my writing." Roughly half the size of 1984's Collected Poems (LJ 12/84), the selection is nevertheless massive, spanning pieces written in the poet's early twenties to those written just a year or two ago on the threshold of his seventies, an avalanche of songs, rants, and chants. Never less than engaged ("I want to be the spectacle of Poesy triumphant over the trickery of the world"), Ginsberg unleashes tidal celebrations of homoeroticism, leftist politics, Eastern mysticism, and Beat camaraderie as through he were writing for his life, out to provelike his mentor Whitmanthat there is no sector of consciousness that poetry cannot encompass. His best ("Howl," "Kaddish," "Mugging") shares first-class seats with more impoverished company ("Sphincter," "Hum Bom," "Birdbrain") as if to drive home the point. And that perhaps is the most productive way to approach Ginsberg's canon: as a feverish history of one consciousness in the second half of the 20th century, articulating the moment's raunchy, mortal urgency, leaving nothing out. [For more from Ginsberg, see Illuminated Poems, a collection illustrated by Eric Drooker and recently published by Four Walls Eight Windows.-Ed.]Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060933760
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Series: Perennial Classics Series
  • Edition description: 1ST PERENN
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 776,540
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Allen Ginsberg was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1926, a son of Naomi and lyric poet Louis Ginsberg. As a student at Columbia College in the 1940s, he began a close friendship with William Burroughs, Neal Cassady, and Jack Kerouac, and he later became associated with the Beat movement and the San Francisco Renaissance in the 1950s. After jobs as a laborer, sailor, and market researcher, Ginsberg published his first volume of poetry, Howl and Other Poems, in 1956. "Howl" defeated censorship trials to become one of the most widely read poems of the century, translated into more than twenty-two languages, from Macedonian to Chinese, a model for younger generations of poets from West to East.

Ginsberg was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French minister of culture, was a winner of the National Book Award (for The Fall of America), and was a cofounder of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute, the first accredited Buddhist college in the Western world. He died in New York City in 1997.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

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 under-
stood 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

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)