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This collection of poems by Ginsberg created a sensation when it was first published in 1956, becoming the subject of an obscenity trial and changing the literary landscape forever.
"Printer's ink is the greatest explosive."?Lawrence Ferlinghetti Lawrence Ferlinghetti founded the City Lights publishing house sixty years ago in 1955, launching the press with his now legendary Pocket Poets Series. First in the series was Pictures of the Gone World?the only book of his own poems that Ferlinghetti would ever publish at City Lights. Within a year, he had brought out two more volumes, translations by Kenneth Rexroth and then poems by Kenneth Patchen. But it was the success and scandal of number four, Howl & Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg (1956), that put City Lights on the map, positioning the Pocket Poets Series at the forefront of the literary counterculture. A landmark sixtieth anniversary retrospective, this edition is a must-have collection, an invaluable distillation of the energetic, iconoclastic, and still fresh body of work represented in the ongoing series. Ferlinghetti has selected three poems from each of the sixty volumes, including the work of Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Andrei Voznesensky, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Julio Cortázar, Frank O'Hara, Marie Ponsot, Denise Levertov, Diane di Prima, Robert Duncan, Phillip Lamantia, Malcolm Lowry, and many more of the Pocket Poets Series innovative, influential, and often groundbreaking American and international poets. Ferlinghetti provides a fresh introduction that looks back at the inspiration for the series, why certain poets were included, and who were the ones that got away. His behind-the-scenes, personal anecdotes provide priceless insights that shed new light on his vision and his editorial practices at a time when the Pocket Poets Series was shaping the contours of poetry's avant-garde.
National Book Award for Poetry, 1973 Beginning with "long poem of these States," The Fall of America continues Planet News chronicle tape-recorded scribed by hand or sung condensed, the flux of car bus airplane dream consciousness Person during Automated Electronic War years, newspaper headline radio brain auto poesy & silent desk musings, headline flashing on road through these states of consciousness. . . .
Wake-up nightmares in Lower East Side, musings in public library, across the U.s. in dream auto, drunk in old Havana, brooding in Mayan ruins, sex daydreams on the West Coast, airplane vision of Kansas, lonely in a leafy cottage, lunch hour in Berkeley ... a wind-up book of dream notes, psalms, journal enigmas, & nude minutes from 1953 to 1960 poems scattered in fugitive magazines here collected now book.
Great strange visionary poems by the author of Howl, "in the midst of the broken consciousness of mid-twentieth century . . ." In the midst of the broken consciousness of mid-twentieth century suffering anguish of separation from my own body and its natural infinity of feeling its own self one with all self, I instinctively seeking to reconstitute that blissful union which I experience so rarely. I took it to be supernatural an gave it holy Name thus made hymn laments of longing and litanies of triumphancy of Self over mind-illusion mechano-universe of un-feeling Time in which I saw my self my own mother and my very nation trapped desolate our worlds of consciousness homeless and at war except for the original trembling of bliss in breast and belly of every body that nakedness rejected in suits of fear that familiar defenseless living hurt self which is myself same as all others abandoned scared to own unchanging desire for each other. These poems almost unconscious to confess the beatific human fact, the language intuitively chosen as in trance & dream, the rhythms rising on breath from belly thru breast, the hymn completed in tears, the movement of the physical poetry demanding and receiving decades of life while chanting Kaddish the names of Death in many worlds the self seeking the Key to life found at last in our self.
A narrative tour de force that combines wide-ranging scholarship with captivating prose, Kevin Starr's acclaimed multi-volume Americans and the California Dream is an unparalleled work of cultural history. In this volume, Starr covers the crucial postwar period--1950 to 1963--when the California we know today first burst into prominence. Starr brilliantly illuminates the dominant economic, social, and cultural forces in California in these pivotal years. In a powerful blend of telling events, colorful personalities, and insightful analyses, Starr examines such issues as the overnight creation of the postwar California suburb, the rise of Los Angeles as Super City, the reluctant emergence of San Diego as one of the largest cities in the nation, and the decline of political centrism. He explores the Silent Generation and the emergent Boomer youth cult, the Beats and the Hollywood "Rat Pack," the pervasive influence of Zen Buddhism and other Asian traditions in art and design, the rise of the University of California and the emergence of California itself as a utopia of higher education, the cooling of West Coast jazz, freeway and water projects of heroic magnitude, outdoor life and the beginnings of the environmental movement. More broadly, he shows how California not only became the most populous state in the Union, but in fact evolved into a mega-state en route to becoming the global commonwealth it is today. Golden Dreams continues an epic series that has been widely recognized for its signal contribution to the history of American culture in California. It is a book that transcends its stated subject to offer a wealth of insight into the growth of the Sun Belt and the West and indeed the dramatic transformation of America itself in these pivotal years following the Second World War.
Author's Preface, Reader's Manual"Arrangement of Text"Herein author has assembled all his poetry books published to date rearranged in straight chronological order to compose an autobiography. "Collected Poems" includes seven volumes published in City Lights Pocket Poets series: "Howl, Kaddish, Reality Sandwiches, Planet News, The Fall of America, Mind Breaths," and "Plutonian Ode," backbone of three decades' writing. Books circulated less widely by delicate small presses (excepting song experiments in "First Blues") fill gaps in the sequence. Youthful poetries were printed in "Empty Mirror" and "The Gates of Wrath." Three odd books, "Angkor Wat, Iron Horse" and "Airplane Dreams," interleaf poems of the 1960s. "Poems All Over the Place" flash on spots of time from President Kennedy's assassination day, through 1972 Presidentiad, to author's meditation practice in his fiftieth year. Among half-dozen poems taken from prose journal and letter books, one singular rhapsody, "The Names," falls into place, with motifs from "Howl" particularized in 1958. "Many Loves" manuscript, detailing first erotic encounter with a lifelong friend, not printed till now for reasons of prudence and modesty, completes a sequence of writing that included "Sunflower Sutra" and "America," Berkeley 1956. "Advantages of Chronological Order""The Gates of Wrath"'s imperfect literary rhymes are interspersed with "Empty Mirror"'s raw-sketch practice poems. Disparate simultaneous early styles juxtaposed aid recognition of a grounded mode of writing encouraged by Dr. Williams, "No ideas but in things." "A Strange New Cottage in Berkeley" precedes "A Supermarket in California" because it wascomposed on top of the same page, originally one poem in two parts, here rejoined. Travel poems Calcutta-Saigon-Angkor Wat-Japan, 1963, mixed through three separate books, now cohere in sequence. Cross-country Auto Poesy chro

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