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Ring of Bone: Collected Poems, 1950-1971

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  129 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Paperback, 244 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by Grey Fox Press (first published January 1st 1973)
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On the Road by Jack KerouacHowl and Other Poems by Allen GinsbergThe Dharma Bums by Jack KerouacNaked Lunch by William S. BurroughsJunky by William S. Burroughs
Beat Lit
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City Lights
The Rumpus
"In the poet's own words, [Ring of Bone] is a spiritual autobiography . . . Lew Welch was many things; a scholar, a father, a drunk, a laborer, an adman, a madman, a friend, and an ascetic— no better description of him exists than that which came in his own vision, deep in the wilds of the Klamath Mountains, the poem after which the collection is titled... These 40 years later, Lew, you are missed."
—Lisa Wells

"...Music permeates his poems, which range from scored lyrics to epis
Fantastic collection of poetry. Lew Welch is not that well known although his university buddies Snyder and Whalen are and will attest to Welch's clear talent and voice as a unique and strong poet in his own right. This collects all of his poetry more or less before that fateful day in 1971 when he left Snyder's cabin with his gun to finish it all.
Welch's body was never found but he has left behind a very strong collection of work.
His poem, 'Chicago Poem' features some great verse in which he
"He viajado,
He hecho un circuito,
He vivido en 14 ciudades,
He sido una palabra en un libro,
He sido un libro originalmente..."
Jul 23, 2011 Jon added it
I consider Lew Welch one of the most interesting 20C. American poets. There's a SELECTED POEMS but you've really got to read this COLLECTED POEMS, which includes key early work, to understand him. He could write a memorable poem about the beauty of a mountain in Oregon (without Gary Snyder's smarmy smugness) or about a Tenderloin bar in San Francisco (without the pointless vulgarity that typified Charles Bukowksi's poetry)....The guy was sui generis.
Eric Shaffer
Without doubt, this is my favorite book of poetry. Lew Welch is our most undersung and excellent of ecological and environmental poets. In this volume, read "Hermit Poems" and "The Song Mt. Tamalpais Sings" for an astonishing glimpse of how good, clear, simple, direct, and effective poetry can be.
One of my students is writing his thesis on Welch, which caused me to get out my copy of Ring of Bone. It is well worth rereading. Some of the poems seem a little dated--some level of 60's jargon, etc.--but there are striking, lucid perceptions here and a fine sense of play and adventure.
The poems in RING OF BONES, like the collected poems of all poets, are hit and miss, depending, naturally, on your taste and sensibility. However, for me, as a writer, Lew Welch's essay "Poetry as Language", at the back of the book, was in itself worth the price of the book.
Apr 06, 2007 Hal rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: poetry lovers, wisdom seekers, dharma bums
The collected poems (1950-1971) of San Francisco Bay area poet Lew Welch. His brilliant succinct insights cut to the bone, marrow, heart of the matter of the universe. An unacknowledged master.
Noel Kroeplin
I like Lew Welch. He was probably one of the most fascinating poets of the beat generation. And there's a few poems in this book that are absolutely brilliant.
One of my favorite books of all time. I think this says more about me then about the book.
Aug 19, 2012 Olivia marked it as to-read
Shelves: rumpus, poetry
Jul 27, 2007 Jenni rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: poets
Least well-known of the beats; poems are sometimes depressive and tentative.
Great collection of poems by one of my favorite Beat artists.
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Lewis Barrett Welch, Jr. is an American poet associated with the Beat generation of poets, artists, and iconoclasts.

According to Aram Saroyan who wrote Genesis Angels: The Saga of Lew Welch and the Beat Generation, Welch decided to become a writer after reading Gertrude Stein's long story "Melanctha." Welch published and performed widely during the 1960s, and taught a poetry workshop as part of th
More about Lew Welch...
Selected Poems How I Work as a Poet and Other Essays How I Read Gertrude Stein I, Leo I Remain, Vol. 1: 1949-1960

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