The Beats of Summer: The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac

The Dharma Bums by Jack KerouacTHE DHARMA BUMS
by Jack Kerouac

Penguin, 1978 (Originally published 1958)
Paperback, 244 pages
Source: Purchased

I first read this book three years ago, and Jackie’s lovely musing recently inspired me to re-read it for Roof Beam Reader’s The Beats of Summer event!

The Dharma Bums is a novel about Japhy and Ray, a pair of Zen Lunatics with different approaches to their Buddhism. While Japhy is wild and joyful, springing from girls’ beds to mountaintops and planning to lose himself on a mystical mountain in Japan, Ray is a more serious character who struggles with his philosophies and his efforts toward detachment. Continue reading


Read More/Blog More Poetry, March: Allen Ginsberg

read more/blog more poetryWelcome to the March installment of the Read More/Blog More Poetry event hosted by Regular Rumination! As I’ve said before, I don’t know much about poetry and even find it a little intimidating, but I am using this event as a challenge to broaden my literary horizons and learn more about this art form!

In the last few days, I’ve actually had a few interesting conversations about poetry, stemming from the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair I attended on Saturday. When I confessed to a poetry publisher that I have trouble reading poetry because I sometimes don’t understand what the poet is talking about, he encouraged me to focus more on the words and how they make me feel than analyzing them, assuring me that I don’t have to “understand” a poem to enjoy it; what matters more is my emotional reaction. I wrote about this in my post about the BSPBF and received some really really helpful feedback from a few readers. You can read the article and comments here.

I chose to read Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg for this month’s Read More/Blog More Poetry post, and I tried to put my new perspective into practice while reading it. I think I need to spend more time with “Howl” before I can say anything about it; my one reading of the three-part poem left me with scattered impressions, and I would really like to read it a few more times to let it sink in a bit more. Continue reading