“I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd": First Edition of Allen Ginsberg's The Howl and Other Poems with an original poem laid in
Howl and Other Poems.
Item Number: 78035
San Francisco: City Lights, 1956.
First edition of this principal work of the Beat Generation accompanied by an original poem in Ginberg’s hand. Small octavo, original wrappers as issued. Introduction by William Carlos Williams. In very good condition with some minor browning to the extremities and a small chip to upper corner of rear panel. Laid in is an original poem on a small sheet of paper entirely in Ginsberg’s hand, “June 27, 72 Bee stings on the farmer’s brown breast in June – Allen Ginsburg.” The poem measures 5.75 inches by 7.75 inches. A nice example.
Howl and Other Poems is a collection of poetry by Allen Ginsberg published November 1, 1956. It contains Ginsberg's most famous poem, "Howl", which is considered to be one of the principal works of the Beat Generation as well as "A Supermarket in California", "Transcription of Organ Music", "Sunflower Sutra", "America", "In the Baggage Room at Greyhound", and some of his earlier works. For printing the collection, the publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti, another well-known poet, was arrested and charged with obscenity. On October 3, 1957, Judge Clayton W. Horn found Ferlinghetti not guilty of the obscenity charge, and 5,000 more copies of the text were printed to meet the public demand, which had risen in response to the publicity surrounding the trial. "Howl and Other Poems" contains two of the most well-known poems from the Beat Generation, "Howl" and "A Supermarket in California", which have been reprinted in other collections, including the Norton Anthology of American Literature.
Other Books by this Author
"Howl for them that suffer broken bone homeless on moody balconies, Jack's soul returning to me over & over with prophecy": First edition of Allen Ginsberg's Iron Horse; inscribed by him to Fellow Beat John Clellon Holmes
Toronto: The Coach House Press, 1972.
First edition of Ginsberg’s beatific visionary poem, an important part of his The Fall of America: Poems of These States sequence. Oblong octavo, original illustrated metallic wrappers. Association copy, lengthily inscribed by Allen Ginsberg on the half-title page, “a ah gha sa ma ha for John Clellon Homes Salem/Kerouac Mass from Allen Ginsberg 5 April 1973.” The recipient, John Clellon Holmes was one of the foremost members of the Beat Generation along with Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and Allen Ginsberg. In November of 1952 Holmes introduced the phrase ‘beat generation’ as a term of common parlance with the publication of his article “This Is the Beat Generation” in The New York Times Magazine. The term was initially conceived by Kerouac who also provided Holmes with nickname ‘the quiet Beat’ for his observant role in the group. In near fine condition with Holmes’ stamp to the verso of the front panel and his pencil markings in the text. An exceptional association linking two of the foremost Beats.
"unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!": Rare Mimeographed Sheets of The Howl Produced for its First Reading. Preceding the First Edition and signed by Ginsberg and five others present at the Six Gallery in October of 1955
Two sheets from an exceptionally rare privately produced mimeographed printing of Howl, preceding the first edition. One of 25 copies printed on rectos only in purple ink typed by the poet Robert Creeley and printed by Marthe Rexroth at S.F State, where she was a secretary, for the famous Six Gallery reading (also known as Six Angels in the Same Performance). This event, which took place at 3110 Fillmore Street in San Francisco on October 7, 1955 was the first important public poetry exhibition heralding the West Coast literary revolution of the Beat Generation. At the reading, five talented young poets—Allen Ginsberg, Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure, Gary Snyder, and Philip Whalen presented some of their latest works. They were introduced by Kenneth Rexroth, who was a kind of literary father-figure for the younger poets. It was at this reading that Allen Ginsberg performed the piece in public, which had been advertised by a postcard proclaiming: “Remarkable collection of angels all gathered at once in the same spot. Wine, music, dancing girls, serious poetry, free satori.” The exuberant audience included Neal Cassady, who passed around the wine jug and a collection plate and a drunken Jack Kerouac, who refused to read his own work but cheered the other poets on, and later wrote an account in his novel The Dharma Bums. He fictionalized the event with a description of circulating gallon jugs of California burgundy among the increasingly raucous crowd, “getting them all piffed so that by eleven o’clock when Alvah Goldbrook (Ginsberg’s stand-in in the novel) was reading his wailing poem ‘Wail’ (‘Howl’) drunk with arms outspread everybody was yelling ‘Go! Go! Go!’” Also in attendance was Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who telegrammed Ginsberg the following day offering to publish his work, saying ” I greet you at the beginning of a great career. When do I get the manuscript?” He published in 1956 through his City Lights Press, but customs agents seized Howl and Other Poems when it arrived from its London-based printer on grounds that it was indecent and obscene. Ferlinghetti and his store manager Shigeyoshi Murao were acquitted of the obscenity charges in October 1957. The title page is signed by Allen Ginsberg, with the signature and a note by Marthe Rexroth, which reads, “I cranked the ditto master at S F State the first time around -and! was at the reading.” On the verso of the title, McClure has written the lengthy note, “This first long poem of Allen’s was read at the Six Gallery in San Francisco in October 1955. I was 22 years old and gave my first reading also that night. I read a poem titled FOR THE DEATHS OF 100 WHALES and other poems of nature and new consciousness. Our co-readers that night were Whalen, Snyder, & Lamantia. Kenneth Rexroth was M.C. I met Jack Kerouac that night. The group of us – minus Lamantia – read again in Berkeley, March 1956, on a rainy evening. It was a fine evening for poetry and I remember my pleasure in Allen’s comic ‘America’. I read mostly from a huge notebook of experimental poems of consciousness. Michael McClure.” On the dedication page are the signatures of Philip Lamantia, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and an inscription by David Meltzer: ” When Allen first read Kaddish in SF, I read too. I was 22.” Double matted and framed, the entire piece measures 20 inches by 26 inches, with an opening in the back of the frame to view McClure’s statement. Only one other similar printing of this edition has surfaced, which fetched $118,750 at auction in 2013, although this copy did include all of the pages. An exceptionally rare item of this important work and cornerstone to American thought and culture.
"The single most important poem of the past quarter century in American letters": First Signed Limited Edition of Allen Ginsberg's Howl: For Carl Solomon; Signed and dated by him with a signed postcard laid in
San Francisco: Grabhorn-Hoyem, 1971.
First signed limited edition of Ginsberg’s Howl with new additions and corrections. Quarto, original illustrated linen designed by Robert La Vigne. One of 275 copies printed by Robert Grabhorn and Andrew Hoyem on hand-made paper with edges untrimmed and signed and dated by Allen Ginsberg on the title page, “Allen Ginsberg August 30, 1971 San Francisco.” Laid in are the original introductory announcements by Hoyem & Grabhorn and notes by Ginsberg. Also laid in is the original transmittal postcard signed by Ginsberg and entirely in his hand. Addressed to Glen Todd, the postcard reads, “Dec 31, 71 Dear Glen, Happy New Year Received Howl inside lovely cover a bit faint & delicate for the funky subject – Did recording here with Peter so didn’t get out to SF – Feb will pass then – Allen.” In fine condition.
San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1961.
First edition, later printing. Small octavo, original wrappers as issued. Inscribed by the author on the title page, “For Richard Lautz with thanks for hospitality Allen Ginsberg LaSalle Nov. 2, 1978.” Ginsberg has added a large drawing opposite his inscription and initials. In very good condition, with the recipients notes throughout the text.
“I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd": The Howl and Other Poems; Signed by Allen Ginsberg
San Francisco: City Lights, 1956.
Later printing of this principal work of the Beat Generation. Small octavo, original wrappers as issued. Signed by the author on the title page, “Allen Ginsberg 11/12/83 Reed.” In near fine condition. Introduction by William Carlos Williams.
Five Page Autographed Letter Signed by Allen Ginsberg. (“Ginsberg” with a long-stemmed daisy drawings), February 10, 1971, 12pm, Cherry Valley, New York. To the Symphony School, Mr. Loratz (Special Events Secretary), and Students. The American poet lists his “favorite musical compositions accumulated in ear/mind” – including specific works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, “Prajnaparamita Sutra … which will turn everyone on … Hare Krishna Mantra … Fugs record on which I sang, or George Harrison’s recent ‘My Sweet Lord’ … Scott Joplin – Maple Leaf Rag … Bessie Smith … Ray Charles … Opera. Bertol Bracht / Kurt Weil Magahony … Some Versions of Rolling Stones’ Lets Spend the Night Together,” four Beatles hits, “J. Lennon – Give Peace a Chance … Bob Dylan …,” and others. Together with the original email addressed by Ginsberg to the teacher and school named above in La Crosse, Wisconsin, printed perpendicularly at the left edge “CIA Conspiracy / Trial Office!,” and “Free John, Pun & Jack!” along the bottom. A month prior to this letter, Ginsberg testified in pretrial hearings in Detroit for three members of the White Panther Party charged in the September 29, 1968, bombing of a CIA office in Ann Arbor: John Sinclair, John W. Forrest and Lawrence “Pun” Plamodon. The envelope used by Ginsberg to send the present letter was printed by the defense. In near fine condition.
First Editions of Lord Skidelsky's Monumental Biography of J.M. Keynes; Each volume inscribed by Him
John Maynard Keynes: Hopes Betrayed 1883-1920; The Economist as Savior 1920-1037; Fighting For Britain 1937-1946.
London: Macmillan, 1983-2000.
First editions of each volume in the author’s acclaimed biography on J.M. Keynes. Octavo, 3 volumes, original cloth, illustrated. Inscribed by the author in each volume. Each are near fine with the dust jackets that show only light wear.
"The adventure is over. Everything gets over, and nothing is ever enough. Except the part you carry with you:" Rare First Edition of From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler; Signed by E.L. Konigsburg
New York: Atheneum, 1967.
First edition of the author’s Newbery Award-winning novel. Octavo, original cloth. Signed by E.L. Konigsburg on the title page. Fine in a fine dust jacket. Rare in this condition and signed.
"Like all Israelis, I yearn for peace. I see the utmost importance in taking all possible steps that will lead to a solution of the conflict with the Palestinians": First Edition of Warrior: An Autobiography; Inscribed by Ariel Sharon
New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989.
First edition of Sharon’s autobiography. Octavo, original half cloth, illustrated. Inscribed and dated by Ariel Sharon on the half-title page. Laid in a lecture announcement by Sharon. Near fine in a fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Lawrence Ratzkin.