Not, mind you, “Collected Poems” or even “Selected Poems.”
That’s a fitting adjective for a guy like Kerouac.
It’s a little book, just 76 pages with very few words on each page.
The poems are those modern things that adjusts the margins on every line like the “tab” feature on MS Word malfunctioned. A person could read it in 20 minutes, but that, of course, would be like going through an art gallery on a golf cart at full speed. The act of reading poetry is a contemplative act, not one you do quickly.
Marie bought me this gift, unaware that I had started reading poetry again. I’ve been focusing more on the likes of Gerard Manley Hopkins, but what the heck, I might as well try the other end of the Catholic-poetry spectrum and try some of these scattered poems by Kerouac, though I suspect I won’t have much success with them.
I think a novice like me needs to read the true masters, so he can then appreciate the true trash . . . or appreciate what might be masterful in an amateur. To start (or re-start, since then isn’t my first foray into poetry) with Kerouac would be like starting to appreciate music by listening to death metal. I’m not saying death metal isn’t good, but I am saying that a music novice is in no position to discern what good it might contain.