By Edited by Marilene Phipps Kettlewell

The Library of America 40.00 792 pages

Commenting on a piece of Kerouac’s poetry is like commenting on a piece of improvisational jazz music, one can only say what they like or dislike, but the artist’s true meaning and feeling remain unknown. For anyone that likes beat poetry and Kerouac’s writing though,Jack Kerouac: Collected Poems will be a must-have. Collected here are Mexico City Blues, The Scripture of the Golden Eternities, Book of Blues, Pomes All Sizes, Old Angel Midnight, Desolation Pops, Book of Haikus, and roughly 40 previously uncollected poems.

From a surface evaluation, Kerouac’s poetry is lovely. Much like his prose writing, Kerouac lets his mind spill on the page, so his emotions and thoughts are clear in every line. One of the most enjoyable aspects though is the insight he provides into the life and culture of the “lost generation”. Every poem involves issues faced by immigrants, the poor trying to survive, even the culture surrounding jazz music. Through these poems, the reader is able to vicariously live in the 1950’s and 60’s.

For all who love him, Jack Kerouac: Collected Poems will make a fantastic addition to a collection, and for those who are unfamiliar with his work, this is a great place to get a feel for his personality, his rhythmic writing style, and his fascination with the time he lived in.

Reviewed By Andrew Keyser
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