Selected poems, 1947-1995

Allen Ginsberg, 1926-1997

Book - 1996

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Published
New York : HarperCollins c1996.
Edition
1st ed
Language
English
Physical Description
442 p. : ill
Bibliography
Includes index.
ISBN
0060933763
0060164573
Main Author
Allen Ginsberg, 1926-1997 (-)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

"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 prove like his mentor Whitman that 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. Copyright 1998 Library Journal Reviews

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Celebrating the seventieth birthday of the acclaimed late American poet, a collection of original poems and old favorites spans Ginsberg's full five-decade career and includes some of his earliest works, signature pieces, and recent gems. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Collects poems selected by the author as representative of his most honest, penetrant writing, and displays a progression of political, devotional, and sexual themes.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Assembled by Allen Ginsberg, Selected Poems 1947-1995 is the definitive collection of the best works of one of the most influential and revolutionary poets of the twentieth century.

Allen Ginsberg, famous for helping catalyze the Beat Generation, wrote poetry for more than fifty years. His innovative verse and provocative attitudes of spiritual, political, and sexual liberation inspired countless poets, musicians, and visual and performance artists worldwide, and helped shape several generations' views of the world.

Selected Poems 1947-1995 commemorates Ginsberg's brilliant career as one of America's most distinguished poets. 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, including the long dream poem "White Shroud," the visionary "After Lalon," and the political rock lyric "The Ballad of the Skeletons," a song he recorded in 1996 with a stellar band that included Philip Glass, Lenny Kaye, and Paul McCartney.