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Pomes All Sizes

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,639 ratings  ·  43 reviews
The original manuscript of this book, written between 1954 and 1965, has been in the safekeeping of City Lights all the years since Kerouac’s death in 1969. Reaching beyond the scope of his Mexico City Blues, here are pomes about Mexico and Tangier, Berkeley and the Bowery. Mid-fifties road poems, hymns and songs of God, drug poems, wine poems, dharma poems and Buddhist ...more
Paperback, 191 pages
Published 2001 by City Lights Books (first published 1992)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  2,639 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Parrish Lantern
Apr 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pomesallsizes
love this little book

Old hornet me
would woo thee
fair, soft Sara
of the flowers;
But bee's not kind
That seeks to find,
peers too deep
shares no sleep;
And anyway'
who woos bees

What is there not to love in just the small example,this book is
part of my life.It makes me smile,makes me feel,it just makes me ?
Sean A.
Jun 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Pretty uneven, but when he's on, he's on. Very playful.
Nov 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: beat
Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" has been consistently voted one of the greatest records ever made. Recently, when compiling another pointless list, several music critics admitted that, despite lauding this work as a masterpiece for year on year, they had never actually listened to it. Kerouac is probably the literary equivalent - more talked about than read, towering reputation but little known, massively misunderstood. On The Road, written about the 40s, published in the 50s, impacted in the 60s, ...more
Sep 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
An interesting and eclectic mixture of Jack Kerouac's poetry written between 1954 and 1965. Some of it reminded me of the time when I read On the Road, some made me laugh out loud, and some I had no clue about. I guess with a better understanding of the Beat generation and Buddhist teachings, I could have got more out of this collection, but there were slight instances of recognition and understanding in the midst of a sea of ... I-dont-know-what. Based on his poetry, I'd say Kerouac had ...more
Jan 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Best haiku ever, Kerouac's #27:
"First we buy the meat
and then we buy
the pot"
Truer words were never written. But one wonders what he has to say about food.
Oct 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
He's a good poet, but a better storyteller.
Jun 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite collections of Poems!
Aug 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I do love Jack Kerouac, and while his poetry is hit or miss, it's worth looking at. He always inspires me with his freedom and joy.
Mike Hammer
Aug 24, 2015 rated it liked it
a good collection of all the different types of poems and occasional brilliance from Kerouac
Angus Stirling
Mar 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
Kerouac got high and wrote stream-of-consciousness poems about buddhism and they were bad.
Aug 16, 2019 rated it liked it
i, a poet, suffer
even for bugs
i find upside-down
dying in the grass -

yea, jack got it. i've had the biggest literary crush on kerouac since senior year of high school, so it was with that enduring love for him that i pushed through this poetry collection. there's a lot going on here, some of it totally nonsensical, most of it probably only accessible to the mind of kerouac himself. however, amidst the chaos there are plenty of pearls, which i have heartily underlined in my blue ballpoint pen! and
Bryce Holt
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
There are worse poetry books to be sure, but it's fairly nonsensical throughout. Incredibly uneven, as if you truly are crawling from oasis to oasis when seeking an actual good poem. I'd say there's probably...8? 10? MAYBE 12 worth reading?

Poetry requires substance. Going for nearly 200 pages with only a morsel of depth is simply a shame and a waste of the reader's time.

Looking for a substitute? Pick up some Billy Collins, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Craig Raine or...well...almost any other book
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kerouac' poetry gets you into that blissed out world of beat poetry with references to Ginsberg, Burroughs, Cassidy, and other key figures of the movement. There are also some sublime moments of Buddhist meditation and references to the great Chinese masters like Li Po, one the three great T'ang Dynasty poets, along with Du Fu and Wang Wei. Kerouac, like Thomas Merton, has a genuine embrace of Chinese Buddhism and poetry which substantially pre-dates commercialized "mindfulness" and serves to ...more
Frank Karioris
Nov 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I love Jack so much, but this is not my favorite. There are many things worthwhile here, but as a whole it does not come into being.
Tara Phillips
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great little introductory collection to the Beat Gen
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoy Kerouac's poetry. On the surface, it resembles the "typing" of Capote's famous criticism, but there is a wealth of treasures buried that a close reading reveals.
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kerouac -short and street and some sublime.
Frederick Gault
Sep 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
More in the style of Koans, not so much lyrical as descriptive. Interesting, but Kerouac was not among the great poets IMO.
Mar 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Got this little book at City Lights in San Francisco as a souvenir but also due to being a Kerouac fan. Kerouac is always best when he's writing prose - which was really his primary artform, his 'poetry'. When he writes in poetic forms the outcome is less successful. The poems in this book lingered in manuscript form at City Lights unpublished until long after his death, and I guess it's evident why.

As with his prose though, the real treasure is in the sound of Kerouac's writing. In the
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is really outstending.
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Pomes All Sizes" is a collection of random works written between 1954 and 1965. The poems treat such typically Kerouacian topics as travel and Buddhism. Quite a few appear to have been written while Kerouac was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Some are nonsense poems, or at least veer into nonsense, and reminded me of the happy gurglings and babblings of a baby just getting acquainted with using his mouth to make sounds. I mean that not as an attack but rather to show the level of
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: beat
A motley bag of both good and bad apples. (Sorry no pomme-pome pun intended).

Some of the pomes in here, for examples 'Skid Row Blues' are absolute gems but at the same time there are a few 'head-shakers' which leave you thinking...."Jack, Jack..."

All things told though, there are enough great poems in this collection to warrant the price of admission. This collection was kept under the stern eye and hold of Stella Sampas until the early 90s. Thank God it has now been finally released to the
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
A fantastic assortment of Keouac's poetry, in tiny book form.

Haiku: : Came down from my
Ivory Tower
And found no world

Thank god for Kerouac. If written now, his poem "I am god" might simply be described as "Kanye-esque," although Kanye would probably have capitalized the A.*

*Oh, and I'm kidding, people. Please don't bombard me with "How dare you even name Kerouac and Kanye in the same sentence!" etc etc. I don't care how you feel about Kanye.

Donald Armfield
I felt a little lost at some parts of this book. I understand some of the poetry but yet I don't. Does that make sense? But Kerouac writes amazing.

quote from Haiku Berkeley :
"I hurt the black ink on your kind book"

Here is my list of favorites
- Haiku Berkeley
-Mexican Loneliness
-Poem (pg. 92)
-The Moon
-The Thrashing Doves
-My Gang
-Silly Goofball Poems
-To Lou Little
-Running Through -- Chinese Poem Song
Dave Allen
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it
To be fair, I didn't get On the Road, either. There were a few gems in this collection of poetry, but several read like rough drafts jotted off on the back of a cocktail napkin to waste time while he was waiting for his drink to come. It needed some tough love editing, with some pieces left on the editing room floor.

But all in all, the good stuff in it is definitely worth the price of admission.
Joe Cheverie
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
overall this collection of Kerouac's poetry is read at a steady staccato beat and the reader can sense the musical lilt behind the poems. For me, Poems of the Buddhas of Old is the standout here. a lot of the late poems are fueled by alcohol and deteriorate into rambling, but are saved by Pome on Doctor Sax and A Curse at the Devil provides a strong finish to this solid collection.
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-reads, poetry
Good stuff. Intriguing words, canter and candor.
Richard Downey
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is Jack being jack. These poems are drawn from different sources but are interesting in themselves. I like Kerouac's poetry, but don't find it as compelling as his prose.
Mike Wilson
Dec 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love Kerouac's poems about his travels, but don't much love his experiments with sound or his take on haikus. Overall, it's worth a read.
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I would have liked to luxuriate over this book longer but the library wanted it back. I really should get myself a copy of this.
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Jack Kerouac was born Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac 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.

“All our best men
are laughed at
in this nightmare land
but the newspapers preen
in virtue - Throughout
the world the left & right
the east & west, are both vicious”
More quotes…