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Collected Poems

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  281 ratings  ·  13 reviews
From the appearance in 1936 of Kenneth Patchen's first book, the voice of this great poet has been protesting war and social injustice, satirizing the demeaning and barbarous inanities of our culture--entrancing us with an inexhaustible flow of humor and fantasy.
Paperback, New Directions Book, 516 pages
Published January 17th 1968 by New Directions
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4.38  · 
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 ·  281 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, poetry
O maestro. The pantheon is full with your bluster. From the lacking of these mundane letters emits the flesh, the curse, the soul, the palpitating tissue, organs spewing blood, from this, the very being is littered with atrophy, with symphony, with the bludgeoning. I will fall apart at the seams with emotion flooding out through the cranium, through the eyes, & corridors of my hearing, flowing with diamonds, & flowers, bullets, broken bottles, & bombs. If ever I was dead now am I liv ...more
Feb 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Maybe one of the things I'm proudest of is turning Philip Dawkins on to this poet. (Literally. He slept with the book. Read his review.) Patchen is my favorite poet and I feel I have only scratched the surface of his work. He represents, without hyperbole, everything I love about poetry in particular, and the playful, sad, beauty of the English language as a whole. I first read him in college and fell in love, and unlike most things I loved in college (Southern Comfort, Our Lady Peace, girls) my ...more
Dec 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vital-books, poetry
Few poets keep my attention over the years like Patchen. His blend of human worries and divine introspection adds new depth to every reading, and unlike many inspired by the modernists he succeeds at form and meaning. His "Instructions for Angels" is amazing and answers every Vonnegut-ian question of the reader.
"Put the tips of your fingers/ On a baby man; / Teach him to be beautiful."
Aug 04, 2007 rated it liked it
Patchen was one of my favorites when I was in college. He did a great book which is hard to find where he took fish, dipped them in ink and then laid them on paper. With a Japanese coligraphy (sp) he wrote his poems. It was a fresh idea that has not been replicated as well that I know of.
Larry Smith
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Patchen is such a maverick figure, making his various forms of art, yet also a craftsman with vision and imagination. He "makes it new" again and again, never wrote the same book twice. Much to learn from this great Amercan poet here.
Nov 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite poets. We don't hear enough about Patchen.
Aug 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
An old favorite of mine.
Mar 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
pure and simple as the shepherd's song
Jul 18, 2007 rated it did not like it
The poet Kenneth Patchen is a fascinating figure. He was a conscientious objector in World War II, the "good war" even many pacifists would refuse to have stayed out of. He was unconnected to academia, writing highly personal poetry without quotation of other works or allusions to the canon. And he was an eclectic figure, the poet-as-loner one moment and a collaborator with jazzmen in poetry recitals the next. Yet, for all the fascinating details of his biography, his poetry is overwhelmingly di ...more
Sep 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I like the innocence of Kenneth Patchen's voice. He represents a particular time and attitude. His romantic poems are especially strong.
Feb 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Loved this stuff my first year of college.
Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Atmospheric yet concise. Beautiful poetry.
Dec 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
My friend gave this to me randomly. It was lucky.
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“Man is not to direct or to be directed anymore than a tree or a cloud or a stone

Man is not to rule or be ruled anymore than a faith or a truth or a love

Man is not to doubt or to be doubted anymore than a wave or a seed or a fire

There is no problem in living which life hasn't answered to its own need

And we cannot direct, rule, or doubt what is beyond our highest ability to understand we can only be humble before it we can only worship ourselves because we are a part of it

The eye in the leaf is watching out of our fingers
The ear in the stone is listening through our voices
The thought of the wave is thinking in our dreams
The faith of the seed is building with our deaths”
“The animal I wanted
Couldn't get into the world
I can hear it crying
When I sit like this away from life”
More quotes…