It's been quite a while since I've reviewed something, let alone any real literature. To come to the point on this article, one to be succinct, concise, and straight to the point, here is this fact: if you love poetry or are even semi-interested in what postmodern American poetry is all about, dash off and pick up as soon as possible, because this book is a veritable education on the art, and constant work, of poetry.
I could do a run down of each and every single poet in this book, and all would merit their own individual reviews: Allen Ginsberg, Denise Levertov, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Kenneth Rexroth, Gregory Corso, Jack Spicer, Gary Snyder, Charles Olson, Leroi Jones/Amiri baraka, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and on the list goes in this great book.
From essays on poetics by many of these poets I've listed above, along with the free-verse-to-sonnet forms of poetry that is purely American, with as pure of a voice. A gathering of poets that demolished censorship in the courts, opened up the world to the possibilities of literature, celebrated bohemianism and art in so many ways, and battled the Vietnam War and provided inspiration and influenced poetry to this day.
More than anything else, major praise should be continuously heaped onto the editor who picked these pieces in the anthology, wrote the preface and afterword, and asked each individual writer for biographical notes/collaboration, the man of the hour is Donald Allen, and I fully recommend this book to anyone interested in the wonders of poetry.
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