The Thicket of Spring: Poems 1926-1969. Paul Bowles.
The Thicket of Spring: Poems 1926-1969
The Thicket of Spring: Poems 1926-1969

The Thicket of Spring: Poems 1926-1969

Santa Barbara, CA: Black Sparrow Press, 1971. First Trade Edition. Softcover. “When in between the rows of corn / the heated beetle pants / on a faroff hill the peasant is lunching. / But we are still waiting by the corn. / But we are still waiting by the edge of the field. / When in between the sunlit pebbles / my summer melody rebounds / can you still smell the rot of last year’s crop?” /... “A clear blue radiance will spread out from my heart / into this great valley. / I shall lean on a pillar of amethyst / and sing clear blue tones before water.” (from the poem “Spire Song,” pg. 13). Offered here is “The Thicket of Spring (Poems 1926-1969),” a collection of poems by legendary literary expatriate Paul Bowles (1910-1999). While known primarily for his short stories and other prose, Bowles also wrote poetry and composed music (as a great many Bowlesians know). In his capacity as “legendary literary expatriate,” he is perhaps best known by his association with Tangiers, Morocco. The pages of his short stories were peopled by the sights, smells and sounds of his beloved Tangiers, where Bowles first arrived in 1947. Despite the fact that Tangier is primary in its association with Bowles, his storied Life in Letters begins much earlier. At age 17, Bowles had a poem accepted in the legendary magazine “Transition,” a Paris-based literary journal which served as a forum for the leading proponents of Modernism. People like Djuna Barnes, James Joyce, Paul Eluard and Gertrude Stein were among those who published in “Transition.” In 1928, Bowles entered the University of Virginia, but later dropped out in April of 1929 upon deciding to sail to Paris with no intention of ever returning to the United States. In Paris, Bowles apprenticed at the Paris Herald Tribune and developed a fruitful relationship with the legendary Dadaist and proto-father of the Cut-Ups, Tristan Tzara. Interestingly, although the Wall St. Crash of 1929 demolished much of the expatriate dream, Bowles was not among the many expatriates who left France after the Stock Market crashed—he had left in July of 1929, and the crash did not take place until late October of that year. The poems in this collection start in 1926—when Bowles was a mere 16 years old and a year before his initial Spring-Summer in Paris—and end in 1969, when Bowles was 59 years old. When it comes to Bowles’ books of poetry, this early Black Sparrow Press edition is preceded by only two others—1933’s “Two Poems” and 1968’s “Scenes.” No understanding of Bowles is complete without becoming thoroughly acquainted with his poetry, and this is a great place to start. Limited edition trade-format softcover, 1/1000 copies. This particular copy is from the collection of Erin Black Matson, the artist & poet who along with her then-husband, the acclaimed poet-educator Clive Matson, was a member of the Beat Generation-morphing into the hippie counterculture in NYC during the 1960s. The Matsons were friends & protégé-collaborators in a circle that included Herbert Huncke, Bonnie Bremser et al. Book in near-fine condition with only slightest shelf-wear to fine-edges; moderate rubbing to front, back covers; slight browning, spotting, small instances of soiling to same; a few instances of spotting to text block. Near Fine. [Item #4664]

Price: $30.00

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