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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1216 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Reprint edition (October 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061139750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061139758
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 3.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Counterculture icon, beat apostle, Buddhist chanter, heir to William Blake, unapologetic explorer of intoxicating substances, world traveler, political protest leader, celebrant of gay sex, chronicler of New Jersey Jewish heritage and of Lower East Side post-hippie bohemians, Ginsberg (1926–1997) became by the midpoint of his career the most famous American poet of his era. At first hardworking and tormented, later on a spontaneous, welcoming mentor, the writer who in Howl (1956) "saw the best minds of my generation starving hysterical naked," and who mourned his psychotic mother in the wrenching title poem of Kaddish (1960) kept creating entertaining (if not quite so innovative) poems, for almost three decades after he rose to fame. This first complete collection of Ginsberg's work reproduces his 1980 Collected Poems—including all the extensive notes: here are "Howl" and "Kaddish" and the great anti–Vietnam War poem "Wichita Vortex Sutra"; here too are the poems about Prague and Cornwall, Benares and Shanghai and the Australian outback, the songs and chants in quatrains (with sheet music) and the unashamed odes to beautiful young men. This complete edition adds White Shroud (1986), Cosmopolitan Greetings (1994) and the aptly titled Death and Fame: Last Poems (2000). A hefty, vivid and important tome, it should remind us just how much Ginsberg accomplished. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“A...brilliant volume that shows Ginsberg...to be not only a legendary protest writer but also a lyric poet.” (New York Times)

“If you want to read Ginsberg’s poetry, you should go straight to the source. COLLECTED POEMS 1947-1997 gathers everything.” (Los Angeles Times)

“Taken all together, Ginsberg’s poems are X-rays of a considerable part of American society during the last four decades.” (The New Yorker)

“The mammoth new COLLECTED POEMS, 1947-1997 places Ginsberg firmly among the most prolific poets of the age.” (Washington Post Book World)

“There’s a lot to like...the current volume testifies to the poet’s scope and indefatigable energy.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

“Sooner or later, anyone interested in American poetry must embrace Allen Ginsberg.” (Houston Chronicle)

“The COLLECTED POEMS” are the ultimate statement on Ginsberg’s art.” (Chicago Tribune)

“he wrote any number of splendid, singular poems that no other American poet of our age was capable of penning…” (San Diego Union-Tribune)

“The volume gathers for the first time all the published verse of...poet Ginsberg...A history...of a turbulent time.” (Salt Lake City Tribune)

“Essential…COLLECTED POEMS…is easily the best of the bunch…Some 50 years later, Ginsberg’s talent still glows on paper.” (The Post and Courier)

“Ginsberg’s poems are reminders that those who face a culture’s disapproval can approve themselves.” (The Progressive)

More About the Author

Allen Ginsberg was born in 1926 in Newark, New Jersey, a son of Naomi Ginsberg and lyric poet Louis Ginsberg. In 1956 he published his signal poem, Howl, one of the most widely read and translated poems of the century. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, awarded the medal of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French minister of culture in 1993, and co-founder of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa Institute, the first accredited Buddhist college in the Western world, Allen Ginsberg died on April 5, 1997.

Customer Reviews

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Allen Ginsberg's work is powerful.
Drujon
Casual readers of the beats will likely want to skip around and read a poem here, a poem there, just checking out the highlights.
taogoat
I dont think any poetry loving person with a sense of fun would ever regret buying this book.
LM

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By taogoat on November 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading Ginsberg's collected poems, 1947-1997 -- fifty years and over a thousand pages of poetry. My overall impression is that he was probably the kindest, most moral member of the beat generation. When the other beats were penniless & borrowing money, Ginsberg was the one they borrowed money from. Corso would steal Ginsberg's manuscripts and sell them to used book dealers to score heroin, and each time Ginsberg would walk down to the book dealer and buy back his priceless words. Where Kerouac preached his own version of buddhism and gave it up a few years later for alcoholic catholicism, Ginsberg remained a dedicated student of buddhist compassion to the end of his days.

And that's what shines thru in many of these poems -- compassion, attention to the present, and the courage to be so honest about his life and his feelings. Many of these poems are raw, experimental, informal, and spontaneous, almost like journal entries. He wrote numerous classics -- Pull My Daisy (written with Kerouac & Cassady in 1949), Howl, America, Kaddish, Mescaline, Lysergic Acid, Wichita Vortex Sutra, Wales Visitation, Elegy for Neal Cassady, and Memory Gardens (elegy for Jack Kerouac), among others.

Some of the most common themes are world travel, nature, daily events, progressive politics, the US invasion of Vietnam, the peace movement, road trips, drug use, the beats, gay sex, hinduism, buddhism, death, and love. In other words, Ginsberg wrote about his life. He talks about his friends dying, his father dying, his mother's insanity and death, his loves, his joys, and whatever is pressing and interesting to him at the moment. Some of the poems are better than others, but I can't imagine there's a more honest poet out there.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By John A. Gregorio VINE VOICE on November 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Americans who can't name five poets will name Allen Ginsberg. In this case, that is good since he was one of America's Greatest Poets. This book attest to this.

I write this review to show disappointment in the publisher who continues to publish the collected works on the cheapest paper next to newsprint.

For the next edition, I would like to see, at least in limited edition, a volume printed on quality paper which could last more than a few years before turning yellow.

Ginsbergs deserves better treatment.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book contains almost all of Ginsberg's poetry. If you are one of those people that must have all of his poems, a great purchase would be The Book of Martyrdom and Artifice. It is his journals and early poems from 1937-1952. You will have every poem that he wrote and his journal. Also, you can buy his book of letters too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Misty In Roots on March 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is the only volume to bring together all of Allen Ginsberg's published verse in its entirety, celebrating half a century of brilliant work from one of America's greatest poets. Presented chronologically, it sets Ginsberg's verse against the story of his extraordinary life: from his most famous landmark works 'Howl' and 'Kaddish' to the poems of White Shroud and Cosmopolitan Greetings, and on to his later writings such as the caustically funny 'Death and Fame', the provocative 'New Democracy Wish List' and the elegiac 'Things I'll Not Do (Nostalgia)'.

Ginsberg, as chief figure among the Beats, fomented a social and political revolution, yet his groundbreaking verse also changed the course of American poetry with its freewheeling spontaneity, rawness, honesty and energy. Also containing illustrations by Ginsberg's artist friends, illuminating notes to the poems, original prefaces and photographs, this is the essential record of one of the most influential voices in twentieth century poetry.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LM on December 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Its an amazing book and huge too. Most of Allens work is here. I have the kindle edition as well because I loved my paperback one so much I wanted to carry it around and read Allens poems whenever I felt like it.
I fell in love with Allens poetry about a year ago and have been listening to his poems in audio like crazy, but this book is so delightful I have been reading it rather than listening to more audios, as my time is a bit short these days. I cant say how much I love it. I would marry this book if it asked me! I dont think any poetry loving person with a sense of fun would ever regret buying this book. Get it! And bring more wonder into your life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ordered this for Christmas for my son; easy with lots of choices for price or new or used; received in great condition
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By J. Carlson on December 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
y daughter shops on amazon a lot and most times orders books that interest her. This was one of them, and even though she doesn't like reading much, this captured her attention. Great delivery, and great price.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like ginsburg it's awesome, really really really awesome it's put together by Ginsburg.

As to the kindle, The formatting is well done so it keeps all of his original indents and whatnot. Lots of links in the book so its easy to skip around and find what you want.
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