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Book Title: Wait Till I'm Dead: Uncollected Poems|
The author of the book: Allen Ginsberg
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 34.33 MB
Edition: Grove Press
Date of issue: February 14th 2017
ISBN 13: 9780802126320
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Reader ratings: 3.9
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Allen Ginsberg’s poems, from “Howl” to “Kaddish” to “The Fall of America,” have influenced generations of writers and made him a defining figure of the twentieth century. Ginsberg’s Collected Poems, first published in 1984, and expanded in 1997, was originally thought to contain all of his poetic work. But now, for the first time, Ginsberg’s stray poems have been gathered and the result, Wait Till I’m Dead is a landmark publication spanning five decades of Ginsberg’s writing life.
The first new Ginsberg collection in over fifteen years, Wait Till I’m Dead is edited by renowned scholar Bill Morgan, with a foreword written by award-winning poet Rachel Zucker. Many of the poems collected in this volume were scribbled in letters or sent off to obscure publications and unjustly forgotten. Tracing the chronology of his life, Wait Till I’m Dead follows Ginsberg from his high school days and earliest political satire to his activism, spiritual maturation, and on-the-road experiences worldwide. The collection concludes with his personal thoughts on mortality as he watched his friends, and himself, grow old.
Throughout the collection Ginsberg pays homage to his contemporaries and poetic icons, including Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Robert Creeley, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, William Carlos Williams, and Ezra Pound. The selection also features several of Ginsberg’s collaborative poems, works coauthored by Gregory Corso, Jack Kerouac, Ted Berrigan, Ron Padgett, Gary Snyder, and Kenneth Koch, providing an inside view of famed Beat poets and their relationships. Containing 104 previously uncollected poems and accompanied by original photographs and extensive notes, Wait Till I’m Dead is the final major contribution to Ginsberg’s sprawling oeuvre, a must-read for Ginsberg neophytes and longtime fans alike.
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Read information about the authorIrwin Allen Ginsberg was the son of Louis and Naomi Ginsberg, two Jewish members of the New York literary counter-culture of the 1920s. Ginsberg was raised among several progressive political perspectives. A supporter of the Communist party, Ginsberg's mother was a nudist whose mental health was a concern throughout the poet's childhood. According to biographer Barry Miles, "Naomi's illness gave Allen an enormous empathy and tolerance for madness, neurosis, and psychosis."
As an adolescent, Ginsberg savored Walt Whitman, though in 1939, when Ginsberg graduated high school, he considered Edgar Allan Poe his favorite poet. Eager to follow a childhood hero who had received a scholarship to Columbia University, Ginsberg made a vow that if he got into the school he would devote his life to helping the working class, a cause he took seriously over the course of the next several years.
He was admitted to Columbia University, and as a student there in the 1940s, he began close friendships with William S. Burroughs, Neal Cassady, and Jack Kerouac, all of whom later became leading figures of the Beat movement. The group led Ginsberg to a "New Vision," which he defined in his journal: "Since art is merely and ultimately self-expressive, we conclude that the fullest art, the most individual, uninfluenced, unrepressed, uninhibited expression of art is true expression and the true art."
Around this time, Ginsberg also had what he referred to as his "Blake vision," an auditory hallucination of William Blake reading his poems "Ah Sunflower," "The Sick Rose," and "Little Girl Lost." Ginsberg noted the occurrence several times as a pivotal moment for him in his comprehension of the universe, affecting fundamental beliefs about his life and his work. While Ginsberg claimed that no drugs were involved, he later stated that he used various drugs in an attempt to recapture the feelings inspired by the vision.
In 1954, Ginsberg moved to San Francisco. His mentor, William Carlos Williams, introduced him to key figures in the San Francisco poetry scene, including Kenneth Rexroth. He also met Michael McClure, who handed off the duties of curating a reading for the newly-established "6" Gallery. With the help of Rexroth, the result was "The '6' Gallery Reading" which took place on October 7, 1955. The event has been hailed as the birth of the Beat Generation, in no small part because it was also the first public reading of Ginsberg's "Howl," a poem which garnered world-wide attention for him and the poets he associated with.
Shortly after Howl and Other Poems was published in 1956 by City Lights Bookstore, it was banned for obscenity. The work overcame censorship trials, however, and became one of the most widely read poems of the century, translated into more than twenty-two languages.
In the 1960s and 70s, Ginsberg studied under gurus and Zen masters. As the leading icon of the Beats, Ginsberg was involved in countless political activities, including protests against the Vietnam War, and he spoke openly about issues that concerned him, such as free speech and gay rights agendas.
Ginsberg went on publish numerous collections of poetry, including Kaddish and Other Poems (1961), Planet News (1968), and The Fall of America: Poems of These States (1973), which won the National Book Award.
In 1993, Ginsberg received the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (the Order of Arts and Letters) from the French Minister of Culture. He also co-founded and directed the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute in Colorado. In his later years, Ginsberg became a Distinguished Professor at Brooklyn College.
On April 5, 1997, in New York City, he died from complications of hepatitis.
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