"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

  • Iron Horse.
  • Iron Horse.
  • Iron Horse.

Iron Horse.


Item Number: 96567

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.

Written throughout the mid-to-late 1960's Ginsberg's The Fall of America: Poems of These States sequence is characterized by a deeply prophetic tone, in the style of Whitman and Blake. More overtly political than much of Ginsberg's previous poetry, content includes the death of Neal Cassady, a condemnation of the Vietnam War, and the first manned mission to land on the Moon. Many of the poems were originally composed on an Uher Tape recorder, purchased by Ginsberg with the help of Bob Dylan. Iron Horse contains two parts, the first of which Ginseberg composed on a train ride from California to Chicago, and the second of which takes place on a Greyhound bus.

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