Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Curation #36 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Scattered Poems by Jack Kerouac

Item #36 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this copy of Jack Kerouac's Scattered Poems. This is a City Lights Books publication which I think was first published in 1970. This particular copy has no more recent copyright date, but Amazon lists it as 2001. There is no printing number. It is in good shape and the provenance is likely that I purchased it used from Amazon.

This is a small book: 4-3/4" x 6-1/4" and 76 pages. There are 38 poems here, selected by Ann Charters from journals & magazines they appeared in between 1945-1970 or from unpublished manuscripts. At the beginning is a short explanation by Jack of new American poetry from "THE ORIGINS OF JOY IN POETRY." Specific sources and publication dates for each poem are given at the end of the book.

Here are some titles of poem in the collection to tease you in case you haven't read it (I've also listed the source and year published):

PULL MY DAISY (Evergreen Books 1961)
DAYDREAMS FOR GINSBERG (Letter to Ginsberg 1955)
LUCIEN MIDNIGHT (Combustion 1957)
RIMBAUD (Yugen 1960; City Lights)
from OLD ANGEL MIDNIGHT (Beetitood 1959)
POEM: Jazz killed itself (White Dove Review 1959)
TO HARPO MARX (Playboy 1959)
FOUR POEMS from "SAN FRANCISCO BLUES" (New Directions 1961)

Typical Kerouac themes show up in this collection (death, jazz, friends, religious/literary/pop culture references, Buddhism, travel, hitchhiking). It's in Kerouac's famous spontaneous style ("writing whatever comes into your head as it comes"), so making "sense" of it is a challenge As with all of Jack's writing, it's important to read aloud and enjoy the sounds as well as think about meaning.

This is short enough for a straight-through read, but it is indeed a book of poetry and therefore lends itself to a more leisurely, skip-around approach.

The most authentic source to get this book from is City Lights, of course, but below is an Amazon link as well.

Below is a picture of Shelf #1 of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (17th item from the left) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Pic by Jack Kerouac.

Shelf #1 of my Kerouac bookshelf

No comments: