Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Random Poem Written By Jack Kerouac

A woman is beautiful
you have to swing
and swing and swing
and swing like
a handkerchief in the

And a poem I enjoy quite a bit. For those of you who do not know:

Jack Kerouac (Jean Louis Lebris de Kerouac) (pronounced [dʒæk ˈkɛɹəwæk]) (March 12, 1922October 21, 1969) was an American novelist, writer, poet, and artist. He was part of the Beat Generation.

While enjoying popularity but little critical success during his own lifetime, Kerouac is now considered one of America's most important and influential authors. The spontaneous, confessional prose style inspired other writers and musicians, including Tom Robbins, Lester Bangs, Richard Brautigan, Hunter S. Thompson, Ken Kesey, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan. Kerouac's best known works are On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Big Sur and Visions of Cody.

He divided most of his adult life between roaming the vast American landscape and living with his mother. Faced with a changing country, Kerouac sought to find his place, eventually rejecting the values of the Fifties. His writing often reflects a desire to break free from society's structures and to find meaning in life.

This search led him to experiment with drugs and to embark on trips around the world. His books are often credited as the catalyst for the 1960s counterculture. Kerouac died in St. Petersburg, Florida, at the age of forty-seven from an internal hemorrhage caused by his chronic alcoholism. He is buried in his hometown of Lowell, MA.

That last fact is quite important to me on a personal level, because like Jack, I grew up as a French Canadian Catholic in Lowell. The fact that someone from my town was so successful and culturally significant in the field of literature sparked in me a love of reading and writing that continues to this day. Though not my FAVORITE author per se, at one point I owned just about every piece of minutiae he published, as a badge of honor for being from the same town. Alas most of this is lost, though my appreciation of his work will never be.


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