Item #142 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this softcover 1955 copyright City Lights Books sixth printing edition of Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Pictures of the Gone World. 21 pages, it measures about 4-3/4" x 6-1/8" and is in good condition. I don't remember the provenance but I did find a Radison keycard holder tucked in the back with notes from a Lowell Celebrates Kerouac written on it. That probably means Crystal took it to read from at Jack's grave, so it's unlikely a provenance clue. I seem to remember her doing that, and I've only read from Jack's work at his grave.
These are early poems by the co-founder of the acclaimed City Lights Books in San Francisco, Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Ferlinghetti needs no introduction to regular readers of The Daily Beat. He published and promoted the Beat writers, it was his cabin that Jack took refuge in and as a result wrote Big Sur, and so on. He is a towering figure in the Beat story. Ferlinghetti turned 99 years old on March 19, and he published a new novel this year.
As for Pictures of the Gone World, it consists of 27 fairly short poems, each one given a number as a title. There are no page numbers.
Ferlinghetti's poetry is accessible yet lyrical. My favorite line is from 5: "A POEM IS A MIRROR WALKING DOWN A STRANGE STREET." It is evident from this collection of poetry that Ferlinghetti has walked down some strange streets in his time.
This definitely belongs on your Kerouac bookshelf.
Or buy it directly from the publisher here.
Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (6th from the left that you can see in the picture) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: A Life of Herbert Huncke, American Hipster: The Times Square Hustler Who Inspired the Beat Movement by Hilary Holladay.
|Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf|