Cosmopolitan Greetings
Half a century after "founding" the Beat Generation, Allen Ginsberg has written this powerful collection of poems that are suffused with a range of emotional colors that gives Ginsberg's work an elegiac tone.

Cosmopolitan Greetings Details

TitleCosmopolitan Greetings
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 17th, 1995
PublisherHarper Perennial
ISBN-139780060926236
Rating
GenrePoetry, Literature, American

Cosmopolitan Greetings Review

  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    I remember this one especially because I'd probably read it back when I was a beat-obsessed lad but I'd forgotten it like you do. But I remember this one because of the wonderful day when I'd quit my shit job (for the time being) to go to grad school and I had nothing to do but lay in the bright summer grass and talk to my dear friend Les, who was reading this at the time and really kinda digging it and who really got into reading it pretty much the way Allen would have had he been on the other I remember this one especially because I'd probably read it back when I was a beat-obsessed lad but I'd forgotten it like you do. But I remember this one because of the wonderful day when I'd quit my shit job (for the time being) to go to grad school and I had nothing to do but lay in the bright summer grass and talk to my dear friend Les, who was reading this at the time and really kinda digging it and who really got into reading it pretty much the way Allen would have had he been on the other line and since obviously we dig Ginsberg just fine and obviously we each have plenty of other, more worthy books under our respective belts it's still just sort of fun to cheerfully chuckle, guffaw and hum approvingly when you dust off a minor classic from an old favorite.
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  • Lee Thompson
    January 1, 1970
    My buddy Rook sent this to me because she loved it. I can't say that I loved it, but there are some neat poems in it. Then there were a lot of poems that I didn't get, that seemed like the average, written-on-a-napkin-while-drunk type poem. Then there were some that made me say, "Jesus Christ, that's awesome."I'll try some more of his work to see if it grows on me because the brilliant stuff was well worth reading the whole book.
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  • Jesse
    January 1, 1970
    I like Allen Ginsberg most when he approaches politics indirectly. Here there are a lot of great poems, plus some less-great political chatter poems, and some forgettable ones.
  • Tuhin Bhowal
    January 1, 1970
    "Want more poems? Wait till I'm dead."
  • Josh
    January 1, 1970
    I contain multitudes. When I see the white light I'll know so many contradictions and connection shared at once. Finding beauty in resistance, art it ailment, and an expansive universe in your mind.
  • Lawrence
    January 1, 1970
    What's more surprising: that it wouldn't be till 2016 that I'd finally read an Allen Ginsberg book cover to cover, or that, when I did, it'd be his late-eighties-early-nineties collection, Cosmopolitan Greetings? Perhaps at least the latter choice can be explained well enough: it's quite possible that things like Howl and Other Poems and Kaddish and Other Poems were simply too epochal, too legendary, too intimidating for me to start with. Meanwhile, Cosmopolitan Greetings actually does contain l What's more surprising: that it wouldn't be till 2016 that I'd finally read an Allen Ginsberg book cover to cover, or that, when I did, it'd be his late-eighties-early-nineties collection, Cosmopolitan Greetings? Perhaps at least the latter choice can be explained well enough: it's quite possible that things like Howl and Other Poems and Kaddish and Other Poems were simply too epochal, too legendary, too intimidating for me to start with. Meanwhile, Cosmopolitan Greetings actually does contain lots of poems I'd heard before, either from the live 1992 recording "The Three Angels: Original Beat Poetry" (with Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso) or from the Ginsberg CD box set "Holy Soul Jelly Roll", especially the fourth and chronologically final volume that's far and away my favorite. So, at least there was some rationale behind picking out this one....The poems in Cosmopolitan Greetings vary widely in length, style, required background knowledge, and so on, which I mostly found charming, except for the few, like "You Don't Know It", that were just too dense with references, mostly to news of the moment, treated as poetic allusions anyone should be able to hold vaguely in the back of their mind. But, for every "Hum Bom!" -- thrilling to listen to, doggerel on the page -- there's an "After the Big Parade", with its haiku-like zing that isn't captured at all on recording. Some of the best poems in this volume were entirely new to me, too, like the satirical list poems "Graphic Winces" and "Research", the Andrei Voznesensky translation "Angelic Black Holes" (I want to see more translations by Ginsberg!), and the near-epics "I Went to the Movie of Life", an intentionally chaotic story about Ginsberg and the Merry Pranksters, and perhaps my favorite selection of all, the surprisingly ecological "Poem in the Form of a Snake That Bites Its Tail".There's no intentional sequencing here -- the poems are simply arranged in the order Ginsberg wrote them -- and, I'd say that makes this book look like even more of a mess, but surprisingly, the differences in the poems are enough to give the whole collection a sort of de facto form regardless. And, it's definitely not nearly as corny as I expected it to be, knowing what my favorite recordings of the Ginsberg of that period are...!
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  • Jon Corelis
    January 1, 1970
    Vintage Ginsberg worth havingWritten as he reached the significant age of 65, this book shows Ginsberg's continuing characteristic experimentalism, candor, humor, and political commitment shot throught with a heightened sense of mortality and the transience of all things. The experimentalism is exemplified by the inclusion some of of Ginsberg's comic-art style drawings and musical scores for poems he wrote as song lyrics. Though the quality is uneven, and the poems less revolutionary and spectac Vintage Ginsberg worth havingWritten as he reached the significant age of 65, this book shows Ginsberg's continuing characteristic experimentalism, candor, humor, and political commitment shot throught with a heightened sense of mortality and the transience of all things. The experimentalism is exemplified by the inclusion some of of Ginsberg's comic-art style drawings and musical scores for poems he wrote as song lyrics. Though the quality is uneven, and the poems less revolutionary and spectacular than in his earlier, better known work, this book is nevertheless worth more than a whole shelf of more typical books of contemporary American poetry -- and in addition to his other merits, Ginsberg's poetry is always actually fun to read, even when the themes are grim, and how many other poets nowadays can you say that about. Recommendation: anyone interested in Ginsberg or beat poetry will be glad to have this book. Readers who are new to Ginsberg might be better off starting with the earlier classics Howl and Other Poems and Kaddish and Other Poems.
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  • Dane Cobain
    January 1, 1970
    Cosmopolitan Greetings is pretty special because it’s some of the last work that the great poet Ginsberg ever wrote, written between 1986 and 1992 and published in 1994, three years before his death. Despite his old age, his work is as strong as ever, and much of it is still relevant today.If you’re a musician or an artist, you’ll be particularly interested in some of Ginsberg’s visual work and some of his music – he wrote lyrics to go alongside music, like Bob Dylan in reverse. Cosmopolitan Gre Cosmopolitan Greetings is pretty special because it’s some of the last work that the great poet Ginsberg ever wrote, written between 1986 and 1992 and published in 1994, three years before his death. Despite his old age, his work is as strong as ever, and much of it is still relevant today.If you’re a musician or an artist, you’ll be particularly interested in some of Ginsberg’s visual work and some of his music – he wrote lyrics to go alongside music, like Bob Dylan in reverse. Cosmopolitan Greetings sees Ginsberg back in the form that he was in back in the 1950s.
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  • James Payne
    January 1, 1970
    Ginsberg weirdly feels really 90s East-Bay Gilman St. punk to me. Like Jeff Ott, or something. This was much better than I figured late-Ginsberg would be.I feel like the general perception of Ginsberg is that he's corny to like. I don't think he should be.
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  • Matt Hunt
    January 1, 1970
    I found myself pretty lost with a lot of this material as there are so many references to (at the time) current events which I have no idea about.The minority, which I didn't feel so out of my depth with, was stunning, as expected of mr Ginsberg.
  • Dylan
    January 1, 1970
    Granted he was a strange weird little man, these poems came to me pre- "Howl" and somehow helped me to make sense of a lot of my overly emotional youth.
  • Kay Sterner
    January 1, 1970
    I just connected with this collection, sphincters and all.
  • Matt Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Has a poem (same as title) which is probably amongst the most vital for dedicated writers to read.
  • Giulia
    January 1, 1970
    Ginsberg is a serious genie. Loved this book and every single word in it. Can't get over how much I appreciated his sarcastic comments on lots situations.
  • Ruth
    January 1, 1970
    Just adore this book, content is immaterial, some pieces are soo fine, and others he may have written out of boredom.Still class.
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