Item #40038 The Gates of Wrath. Rhymed Poems: 1948-1952. Allen GINSBERG.
The Gates of Wrath. Rhymed Poems: 1948-1952.
The Gates of Wrath. Rhymed Poems: 1948-1952.


The Gates of Wrath. Rhymed Poems: 1948-1952.

Bolinas, CA: Grey Fox Press, 1973. First edition. Wrps., 56pp.

SIGNED by the author on the title page.

Epigraphs by William Blake and Herman Melville. Front cover photographic self-portrait taken by the author in 1949.

Includes “A Prefatory Letter” from Allen Ginsberg to William Carlos Williams (the book gives the year as 1949, though the correct date of the letter, according to Miles’s biography of Ginsberg, was March 4, 1950; Williams later included it in its entirety in Part Four of “Paterson”, published in 1951). Also includes a closing text by Ginsberg in which he describes the genesis of the poems, and in particular the influence of Jack Kerouac.

The book’s original manuscript has an interesting history. In the early fifties, unable to get the poems published in New York, Ginsberg gave the manuscript to a woman friend who was leaving for London, in the hope she might be able to place it with publisher friends. Unusually for Ginsberg, he did not keep a complete set of copies of the poems, and for many years they were presumed lost. After being passed from hand to hand, in either 1965 or 1966, when Bob Dylan was in London, someone gave the manuscript to him, knowing of his interest in the Beats. Finally, when Ginsberg was visiting Dylan in Woodstock in 1968, the singer returned the manuscript to him, and as Ginsberg wrote in December 1971, “I returned to this rhymed mode with Dylan’s encouragement as fitted for musical song”.

Slight rubbing to wrappers, o/w Fine. The softcover edition precedes the signed limited hardcover issue. 3000 copies printed.