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Ring of Bone: Collected Poems, 1950-1971

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  164 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Paperback, 244 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by Grey Fox Press (first published January 1st 1973)
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May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm coming round to the Gary Snyder-type, wood cabiney, zen branch of the beats in my thirties. They good. And obviously any Collected Poems is going to be inconsistent, but the Hermit Poems here are lovely as fuck, and the simplicity and clarity of Lew Welch's best stuff is about as pure an expression of mind and place as you're gonna get on the page. Hurray!
City Lights Booksellers & Publishers
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
Eric Shaffer
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Megan Parrott
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled upon a reference to Lew Welch's "Chicago Poem" and I was compelled to dive in a little deeper. "Ring of Bone" is a fantastic introduction to Welch. I'm drawn to his adoration for the environment, as well as his simple, yet beautifully lyrical style. This volume includes some of his original illustrations, which is always a nice treat.
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 23, 2011 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.
Oct 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"He viajado,
He hecho un circuito,
He vivido en 14 ciudades,
He sido una palabra en un libro,
He sido un libro originalmente..."
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great collection of poems by one of my favorite Beat artists.
Apr 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 19, 2012 marked it as to-read
Shelves: poetry, rumpus
Jul 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poets
Least well-known of the beats; poems are sometimes depressive and tentative.
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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...

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