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San Francisco Blues

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  232 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Jack Kerouac is best known for his multi-volume Legend of Duluoz, which includes On the Road and The Dharma Bums, but he was also an important poet. One of the eight extended poems contained in Kerouac's Book of Blues (Penguin 1995), 'San Francisco Blues' is an exuberant foray into language and consciousness, combining rich imagery, complex internal rhythms, and a reverent ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published September 1995 by Penguin Books (first published 1991)
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David Schaafsma
Aug 09, 2015 David Schaafsma rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry, music
It's Kerouac, man, it gets 2 stars just for being his and being beat, in my universe. And I like the tiny book format, it fits in the palm of your hand. I just picked it up at a used book sale so sat down to read it right away. I love tiny books as City Lights puts out.

The trouble for me is that while Kerouac is an often great writer of autobiographical fiction, I never liked his poetry. He loved jazz and blues and tried to emulate it in his writing, and there's quite a bit of blues poetry from
Jan 05, 2015 Vicky rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, favorites, music
These first poems by Kerouac are way better to carry around than to read. He composed them all in a notebook that could fit into his breastpocket and used the space limitations of the small page as if they were chords, or was it choruses, of blues/jazz, that required being spontaneous and responding to your surroundings. I was insistent to read them only while I took the train so that I could feel the movement more than indoors since this is no book to read in bed. It was perfect timing for me t ...more
Sep 03, 2012 Matt rated it it was amazing
San Francisco Blues
Written in a rocking chair
In the Cameo Hotel
San Francisco Skid row
Nineteen Fifty Four.

This pretty white city
On the other side of the country
Will no longer be
Available to me
I saw heaven move
Said "This is the End"
Because I was tired
of all that portend.

And any time you need
I'll be at the other
at the final hall
Adrian Todd
Sep 27, 2007 Adrian Todd rated it liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of poesey
i am looking forward to seeing san francisco
Dec 22, 2015 Rod rated it it was ok
Like picking up someone's diary and trying to fathom their own coded language. It's interesting, frustrating, and sometimes breaks through into vivid snapshots of experience. Kerouac knew how to make a printed page sing the blues. These are early practice sessions.
Edward Moore
Nov 13, 2014 Edward Moore rated it it was amazing
I love this little volume of poems. tHIS MUST BE THE 12TH TIME i HAVE READ IT...OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
Richard Downey
Jan 26, 2015 Richard Downey rated it really liked it
Kerouac is much better writing prose than poetry but still, this is a lot of fun.
Aug 13, 2007 Mitch rated it really liked it
I prefer Kerouac's poetry to his prose, and this book, like Mexico City Blues, is a superb example of why. Arranged in choruses, meant to be heard like a chorus in a jazz piece by, say, Charlie Parker, simply rolls along a sharp melodic line, blasting consonants and stretching vowels like a good solo does, here Kerouac is amazing. Can't quite figure out why these poems were left unpublished for so long.
Nov 28, 2011 Stephen rated it really liked it
I love penguin pocket editions for their size and ability to move with me.

Secondly, Penguin always presents the best of writers, sometimes with their most obscure works.

San Fran Blues doesn't dissappoint. These poems are great snacks for the hungry reader.
Sheri Fresonke Harper
Sep 19, 2012 Sheri Fresonke Harper rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry-books
Each of the poems is a chorus in a bluesy song that tells of the people of San Francisco and of the many experiences. This is quite different from "On the Road".
Josh Simpson
May 26, 2012 Josh Simpson rated it it was amazing
read these out loud, the sound & wordplay dances across the brain & draws never before seen shapes in the air as with a cosmic yet bedraggled sparkler
Aug 28, 2012 Mays rated it liked it
Shelves: american, poetry
Refreshing and interesting, though I still feel that it would give me better insight to read it again.
I think I like Kerouac.
Nilo Di Stefano
Mar 10, 2011 Nilo Di Stefano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
E' musica , non solo poesia. Il blues lo senti , lo assapori e lo mandi giù come una tequila.
Sep 26, 2008 Jeannie-marie rated it liked it
Short and thoughtful.
Karlene Olesuk
Jan 06, 2010 Karlene Olesuk rated it it was amazing
There is jazz in poetry.
Aug 03, 2011 ronny rated it liked it
wow. i read a book.
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Born on March 12, 1922, in Lowell, Massachusetts, Jack Kerouac's writing career began in the 1940s, but didn't meet with commercial success until 1957, when On the Road was published. The book became an American classic that defined the Beat Generation. Kerouac died on October 21, 1969, from an abdominal hemorrhage, at age 47.
Early Life

Famed writer Jack Kerouac was born Jean-Louis Lebris de Keroua
More about Jack Kerouac...

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It's the beat generation. It's the begát. It's the beat to keep. It's the beat in the heart. It's being beat and down in the world and like old time low down. And like an ancient civilization, the slave boatman rowing galleys to a beat. 2 likes
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