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The Great Naropa Poetry Wars Paperback – January 1, 1980


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 87 pages
  • Publisher: Cadmus Editions; 1st edition (1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0932274064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0932274069
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,518,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Elbert D. Porter on February 27, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This slim, hard-to-find polemic is an early source on the infamous and shadowy "Merwin Incident". Clark's primary source of information on the incident itself is the even harder to find "The Party, A Chronological Perspective on a Confrontation at a Buddhist Seminary", written by students in a Naropa class led by Ed Sanders. Clark is out for blood, and delivers in a relentlessly flippant, journalistic style. The more you know about the world Clark is circumscribing, the more quickly you spot errors and distortions, calculated to transmit Clark's disdain for not only Naropa and Vajradhatu (Trungpa's institutions) but the wider world of Tibetan Buddhism. Below, we will see also that Clark's work was calculated to create or exacerbate conflicts in the poetic community. Clark's work stands as a bracing antidote to the Trungpa community's propaganda machine, but Barry Miles' "Ginsberg: a Biography" may be more reliable and certainly appears to be more fair-minded, without shying from telling the story.

The incident took place in Snowmass, Colorado, at the Fall 1975 Seminary, a three month program intended for advanced, committed students of Trungpa. Poet W. S. Merwin and his girlfriend Dana Naone were allowed to join even though they did not have the established student-teacher relationship with Trungpa. This turned out to be a mistake, as the poet and his girlfriend brought with them an independent spirit not suitable for the environment. Two months in, Trungpa hosted a Halloween party, at which he showed up drunk and immediately got naked. Merwin and Naone retreated from the party to their room. Trungpa instructed his "Vajra Guard" to bring them back to the party, by force if necessary. Force was necessary. The Guard broke down the locked door to Merwin's room.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Joanna on October 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
Wonderful, funny, and scary book about poetry, buddhism, and craziness. I read this years ago and want to re-read it again soon.
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7 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is one of the best books ever written on the contemporary poetry scene. It is smart, tough, and accurate.
Poetry abandoned its sense of reason, and in swept gangsters like Trungpa and Ron Padgett. Result: read all about it in Clark's book, if you can find a copy.
The same thing happened at Rajneeshpuram, and other hippy meccas. Sneaky finks calling themselves gurus swept into the vacuum left by the vacant minds of hippies, and the result was sheer terror.
What was that somebody said about eternal vigilance? I must have smoked too much pot. I can't remember.
Clark has a funny brutal sense of reality. I recommend all his books to anyone who wants to stay alive. He functions. While most of his generation of poets were just idiots swimming in swill, and happy to do so, Clark was a citizen that the founders of this republic would not have scorned. He is a man of principle, and God save the creeps that Clark chooses to ridicule.
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