An Ode and Arcadia. Robert Duncan, Jack Spicer.
An Ode and Arcadia
An Ode and Arcadia

An Ode and Arcadia

Berkeley, CA: Ark Press, 1974. First Printing. Softcover. "The close, creative, and sometimes difficult relationship between the poet-friends Jack Spicer and Robert Duncan is well known to anyone who has at least a casual interest in the poetry of the San Francisco Bay Area. For those who have more than a neophyte's knowledge, and the term has certain historical and descriptive relevance appropriate to the zeal for poetry in this region, the influence of these two poets on each other and on poets and writers in this area amounts to a kind of local literary legend. Until Robin Blaser, Spicer's literary executor, brings out a complete edition of his work, it may not be possible to evaluate accurately the extent of Spicer's contribution to the poetry of the San Francisco Bay area. Since Spicer's death, however, the reality of his influence and, more importantly, the measure of his strength as a poet have become increasingly evident, not only as other poets, including Duncan himself, have continued to validate the truth in the legend, but also as a direct result of the greater accessibility of Spicer's poetry, whose large availability in his own lifetime he often prevented. This small book, then, serves in part as monument to Jack Spicer, in that it resuscitates some of his poems, all of them previously unpublished. It also serves as historical documentation of Spicer's relationship with Robert Duncan and of their mutual dedication to the craft of poetry and to the San Francisco region as a vital source for a new poetry." (from Pg. 1-2 of Introduction by F.J. Cebulski). Offered here is the quite scarce 1974, half-posthumous collaboration of Jack Spicer (1925-1965) & Robert Duncan (1918-1988), titled "An Ode and Arcadia." As the introduction quoted above delightfully elucidates, absolutely anyone interested in the development of the literary movement now known the world over as the "San Francisco Renaissance" will find this book to be nourishing and revelatory. The introduction goes on some pages longer, telling of Kenneth Rexroth's initial attempts--all the way back in 1947-48--to gather an anthology of exciting new poetry from the Bay Area, in which would prominently feature the work of both Spicer & Duncan besides his own. It is fitting, then, that the book itself consists of work by both poets, as well as letters to Rexroth. Your Devoted Assistant Curator could go on voluminously on this deeply fascinating work, but will leave further ruminations to the reader, who will certainly--if possessed by similar enthusiasms--recognize in its pages the gold to mined there. Trade-format softcover original, 1/1000 copies printed by renown printer, Wesley B. Tanner, in Berkeley, California. From the collection of Erin Black Matson, the late artist-poet who, along with her then-husband the acclaimed poet & educator Clive Matson, were members of the Beat Generation as it morphed into the hippie counterculture during the 1960s. The Matsons were colleagues & protégés (in lifestyle as much as literature) of Herbert Huncke, Bonnie & Ray Bremser, Diane di Prima et al. The relatively near-fine condition of this item befits its long ownership & use by Erin, who was a tried-&-true Beat-Bohemian to the end: in near fine condition with minor-to-moderate shelf-wear to fine-edges; moderate-to-pronounced rubbing, spotting, smudging, & age-typical toning to front, back covers & spine; larger, True Beat coffee-stain (see pictures) to top right-hand corner of back cover. Near Fine. [Item #4943]

Price: $30.00 save 10% $27.00