Rites of Passage. Allen Ginsberg, Louis Ginsberg.
Rites of Passage
Rites of Passage
Rites of Passage
Rites of Passage

Rites of Passage

Plainview, NY: Eugene Brooks, 1973. First Edition. Softcover. Inscribed & signed by Eugene Brooks to Erin Black Matson. (Morgan B97, pg. 152). An oddity in the Allen Ginsberg canon, “Rites of Passage” is perhaps the quintessential Ginsberg Family Affair. Written by Allen’s brother Eugene Brooks (1921-2001) and containing introductions by Allen and his father Louis Ginsberg (also a poet), “Rites of Passage” is thus Ginsberg-cubed, Ginsberg-to-the-Third-Power. Have a look at this passage from Allen’s blood-warm introduction: “One’s brother’s secret sorrow—the vast intelligence of Anyone, democratic perception unexpressed beneath the commercial & family surface of America—is not only the sadness of Time passing by, but clear knowledge & Foresight into the ruin of our civilized lives: the fall of America, the great robot bent over weeping in sorrow for ourselves. After all the human heart’s the center of our Nation, not the computer in the Bank Tower. So this poetry realizes mortal feeling, and that amounts to a Vision, because it’s not in the papers or on T.V. Thus the insight’s universal, applicable to Aborigines tho writ by Long Island Lawyer. Is it done openly with full saintly clarity? Well the poetry is still awkward, “too many words” as Basil Bunting told Eugene Brooks’ brother Allen regarding his own texts; and public mannerisms excuse or hide many real feelings—still, the humane knowledge breaks through clearly, shocking—as once returned from the wars the soldier-author sat in family dining-foyer in Bronx surrounded by maternal aunts and uncles and wept like Christ at table…” / “But as fellow Jerseyite poet William Carlos Williams wrote to brother Allen several decades back in regard to similar derivative rhymed texts, “In this mode perfection is basic.” So that admonition repeated here, with acknowledgment that within these flawed forms brother Brooks wrote a number of perfect lines.” (Abridged Quote from Pg. v-vi of Introduction). Self-published by Mr. Brooks (somewhat ironic considering all Allen did to help other poets get published!), the poems in “Rites of Passage” include a number of pieces Brooks composed while serving in a radar unit in Britain and France during World War II. First Edition softcover from the first and only printing; 1/500 copies published on February 10, 1973. 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. This copy is made even rarer by the fact that it is signed with inscription by Eugene Brooks to Erin Matson—one of only two extant signed copies we are aware of, and the only with distinguished Beat-World association. Brooks’ signature, in thin black pen ink, reads: “To Erin — / Welcome guest / to Long Island home / where two birds / were in evidence / Gene Brooks.” Delightful! The condition of this item (see below) befits its inclusion in the library of a Bona Fide Beat who appears to have remained true to (never recovered from?) those heady days. The Huncke-level Beat bona-fides represented by said provenance and condition—not to mention the rare presence of Eugene Brooks’ inscription and signature—considerably heighten the profundity of this little-known tome from the Allenverse. Book in Very Good condition with pronounced-to-significant shelf-wear, rubbing, spotting, smudging throughout; slight, scattered staining, browning to front, back covers; slight chipping to spine edge and top right-hand corner of front cover (the result of Erin's cats' or other small creatures' nibblings, we surmise); small instance of chipping at top left fine-edge of back cover near top left-hand corner. Very Good. [Item #4680]

Price: $60.00 save 10% $54.00