White Shroud: Poems 1980-1985

White Shroud: Poems 1980-1985

by Allen Ginsberg
     
 

Poems by a modern master. "[Ginsberg's] powerful mixture of Blake, Whitman, Pound, and Williams, to which he added his own volatile, grotesque, and tender humor, has assured him a memorable place in modern poetry."— Helen Vendler  See more details below

Overview

Poems by a modern master. "[Ginsberg's] powerful mixture of Blake, Whitman, Pound, and Williams, to which he added his own volatile, grotesque, and tender humor, has assured him a memorable place in modern poetry."— Helen Vendler

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Lately, Ginsberg hasn't always been in top form, but "Howl" remains a masterpiece. White Shroud is the best of his later works.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060914295
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/28/1987
Series:
Harper Perennial
Pages:
112
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

Porch Scribbles

Balmy, hotter outside than in the living room'
Wind rustles the rattlesnake reeds.
Didja see the Perseus star shower last night?

Bright on Flatirons, sunshine gleams
on clouds, on brown shake shingles,
tree limbs rock,
So bright on the car roof, I gotta sleep'

I want that brick house on Mapleton,
it's for sale "Moore Real Estate"'
But price too high,
I'm too drowsy to go to the telephone.

Clouds float up from the end of the world'
Have we enough room for population explosion?
Call up Gary, let's find out what he thinks.

July 11, 1980

That tree stands higher than a house
like a dog with hair drooping over its mouth'
green long beanpods hang from its branches

It's a whale that big gray-bottom cloud floating
over the Flatirons, it's a mushroom, a shipcastle, a
mountain with sunshine and Coasts'
It's a pile of mist.

Look up, clouds in the sky,
suddenly their shadows fall where Mrs. Hurst
on Mapleton Street sprays her front lawn.

Midsummer, green leaves thick on maples
The front yard, white flowers'
Cause it's just so beautiful now!
How sad, to be alive watching the season at its height'

Spray the lawn, it's too hot'
Street children call, car radios play muted disco
Gray clouds umbrella brilliant sun
I used to be young once, bewildered
like that barechested little
girl across the street.

Where I sit, leg over my knee
listening to the whippoorwill call of a distant ambulance,
the thin tree's little leaves startle and jump,
raindrops fall thicker & the smell of ozone
wafts across theporch.

Everyone loves the rain, except those caught in their
business suits,
birds whistle, tree leaves shake excited, electric smells
rise across the City to the watchers on the balcony'

August 2,1980

Did the Ecologist chop his girl with an ax in Philadelphia
& hide her corpse a year in the trunk?
What does that red-haired boy half-naked on the sidewalk
with his Frisbee think of that?

Boulder, August 3,1980

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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.

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