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Book of Blues

Penguin Poets

Jack Kerouac - Author

Robert Creeley - Introduction by

Paperback | $16.00 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9780140587005 | 288 pages | 01 Sep 1995 | Penguin | 5.23 x 7.83in | 18 - AND UP
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Best known for his "Legend of Duluoz" novels, including On the Road and The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac is also an important poet. In these eight extended poems, Kerouac writes from the heart of experience in the music of language, employing the same instrumental blues form that he used to fullest effect in Mexico City Blues, his largely unheralded classic of postmodern literature. Edited by Kerouac himself, Book of Blues is an exuberant foray into language and consciousness, rich with imagery, propelled by rythm, and based in a reverent attentiveness to the moment.

"In my system, the form of blues choruses is limited by the small page of the breastpocket notebook in which they are written, like the form of a set number of bars in a jazz blues chorus, and so sometimes the word-meaning can carry from one chorus into another, or not, just like the phrase-meaning can carry harmonically from one chorus to the other, or not, in jazz, so that, in these blues as in jazz, the form is determined by time, and by the musicians spontaneous phrasing & harmonizing with the beat of time as it waves & waves on by in measured choruses." —Jack Kerouac

Book Of Blues Introduction by Robert Creeley

San Franciso Blues
Richmond Hill Blues
Bowery Blues
MacDougal Street Blues
Desolation Blues
Orizaba 210 Blues
Orlanda Blues
Cerrada Medellin Blues

Notes on Dates and Sources

"Jack Would Speak Through the Imperfect Medium of Alice," by Alice Notley