Night Music: Selected Poems. John Clellon Holmes.
Night Music: Selected Poems
Night Music: Selected Poems
Night Music: Selected Poems
Night Music: Selected Poems

Night Music: Selected Poems

ISBN: 1557280673
Fayetteville, AK: University of Arkansas Press, 1989. First Printing. Hardcover. "First published in Poetry, Partisan Review, Harper's, Poetry Northwest, and other journals, the poems in this selection represent the evolution of Holmes' style, from his early journeyman efforts in traditional forms, through the development of his later voice in free verse. Like his essays and fiction, Holmes' poetry focuses on the individual's self-affirmations in the face of numbing institutions--state or corporate--and in the face of aging and disease. These selections take us through the world of Beat urban streets, de Sade and Kerouac, to Ozark Mountain storms and dawns, and back to the poet's native New England because "a home is where you have the chance of dying where you chose to live." (from Front Flap). Ranging from 1946-1988, this thoughtfully-curated selection of the poems of John Clellon Holmes (March 12, 1926-March 30, 1988) represent over a half century of poetic distillations, whether they appear in the novel form many students of Beat Literature know him for, in his nonfiction work, or in poetry, as they appear here. Holmes is quite underrated as a poet, but it would do us well to consider that he spent his life in the company of many of the greatest poets and novelists of Mid-Century American Literary History. This is a man who was "there," at the time and the place "where it all happened," mutually-inspiring and beside the more familiar names of Kerouac, Ginsberg & Co. In such poems as 1948's "Doctor Trustus: Man of Good Will," we glimpse into the nascent world of The Beats in New York, and Holmes writes of reading and discussing "Aristotle, Spencer, Montaigne, Marx and Thomas Paine..." and of "Lucian [Carr]," the notorious early muse of both Kerouac, Ginsberg and pretty much all of their now-legendary friends. The blurb on the back of this book--provided by the Great American Poetry Robert Creeley, rings true of this book and of the poems of JCH: "Whatever the means, John Clellon Holmes tells a basic truth again and again, that we're here and that we'd better care about it. His poems are that same human wisdom compacted to a size and a clarity we can none of us finally avoid." Excepting the strange syntax of that sentence, Creeley is right: the 'basic truths' he speaks of appear like diamonds of insight throughout these poems, and they will serve well all those who endeavor to know them. Hardcover in unclipped dust jacket, First Edition, First Printing as indicated by number sequence on copyright page. Book in very fine condition, virtually as new. Dust-jacket in very fine condition, also substantially as new with only slightest rubbing to back cover. Very Fine / Very Fine. [Item #4542]

Price: $35.00