White Shroud: Poems 1980-1985 w/Original Publicity Photograph. Allen Ginsberg.
White Shroud: Poems 1980-1985 w/Original Publicity Photograph
White Shroud: Poems 1980-1985 w/Original Publicity Photograph
White Shroud: Poems 1980-1985 w/Original Publicity Photograph
White Shroud: Poems 1980-1985 w/Original Publicity Photograph
White Shroud: Poems 1980-1985 w/Original Publicity Photograph

White Shroud: Poems 1980-1985 w/Original Publicity Photograph

New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1986. Later Printing. Softcover. Signed by Allen Ginsberg. Following the release of Allen Ginsberg’s doorstopper “Collected Poems: 1947-1980” in 1984 came 1986’s “White Shroud,” poems composed between 1980-85. “White Shroud” is an interesting collection because it appears on the heels of Ginsberg’s deep immersion as an educator in Boulder, Colorado at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa Institute. Whether one is a Beat Generation/Mid-Century American Literary scholar, an aspiring poet or both, anyone’s who’s had the pleasure and privilege of accessing the treasure trove of recordings from Ginsberg’s classes at Naropa (freely accessible in their online archive) will notice what makes these poems special. The poems in “White Shroud” represent Ginsberg revisiting the earlier influences that had made his career what it was up to that point—they represent Allen’s recent, methodical charting of his Poetic Family Tree. In the collection’s first poem, “Porch Scribbles,” we see the indelible influence of Charles Reznikoff’s first five books, among them a favorite of this author, Reznikoff’s “Poems: 1920.” Ginsberg exposited at length in profound lectures at Naropa on Reznikoff, who still today remains criminally underread. The collection is still (what was then) “contemporary” for Allen, as his caricatured attempts at being a musician and songwriter are in evidence right alongside Allen the Poet-Prophet-Scholar. The revisiting of his formative influences in the classroom, where his aim was to impart the lessons he had taken from these scattered influences on others, echoes throughout the entire book. There are poems in “White Shroud” that are echoes of “Howl & Other Poems,” of “Kaddish,” of Anne Waldman’s influence as friend and muse. “White Shroud” is so fascinating because it is a refreshed Ginsberg looking to the past with contextualized clarity and purpose, all the while never forgetting to be “there” now. Though a later printing, this copy is made particularly special by the presence of Ginsberg’s signature (recorded somewhat fittingly in Athens, Greece—AG was a philosopher of poetry if there ever was one) in black felt pen ink on front flyleaf. Ginsberg signature reads: “Allen Ginsberg / AH (circled) / 12/18/93 / Athens.” Included with this copy of “White Shroud” is a glossy publicity photograph of Ginsberg taken by George Holmes and initially issued with the First Hardcover Edition in 1986. Book in very fine condition with only minute shelf-wear to fine-edges; very tiny bumps to corners of front, back covers; slight smudges to text block at bottom near spine-edge. Very Fine. [Item #4502]

Price: $100.00

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