Reality Sandwiches, 1953-60

Reality Sandwiches, 1953-60

Book - 2005
Average Rating:
Rate this:

"Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages for yr own joy." Many of Ginsberg's most famous poems.

Wake-up nightmares in Lower East Side, musings in public library, across the U.S. in dream auto, drunk in old Havana, brooding in Mayan ruins, sex daydreams on the West Coast, airplane vision of Kansas, lonely in a leafy cottage, lunch hour on Berkeley, beer notations on Skid Row, slinking to Mexico, wrote this last night in Paris, back on Times square dreaming of Times Square, bombed in NY again, loony tunes in the dentist chair, screaming at old poets in South America, aethereal zigzag Poesy in blue hotel room in Peru--a wind-up book of dreams, psalms, journal enigmas & nude minutes from 1953 to 1960 poems scattered in fugitive magazines here collected now book.

". . .make no mistake, Reality Sandwiches, 1953-60 . . . is genuine poetry, and Ginsberg's commitment marks his superiority over more graceful and refined but tepid craftsmen." --Robert D. Spector, Poetry Quarterly

Famous Beat poet Allen Ginsberg was born June 3, 1926, the son of Naomi Ginsberg, Russian émigré, and Louis Ginsberg, lyric poet and school teacher, in Paterson, N.J. To these facts Ginsberg adds: "High school in Paterson till 17, Columbia College, merchant marine, Texas and Denver copyboy, Times Square, amigos in jail, dishwashing, book reviews, Mexico City, market research, Satori in Harlem, Yucatan and Chiapas 1954, West Coast 3 years. Later Arctic Sea trip, Tangier, Venice, Amsterdam, Paris, read at Oxford Harvard Columbia Chicago, quit, wrote "Kaddish" 1959, made tape to leave behind & fade in Orient awhile." His other famous poetry collections including The Fall of America , Howl , Mind Breaths , Plutonian Ode , Kaddish , and Reality Sandwiches are also published by City Lights Publishers.

Publisher: San Francisco, Calif. : City Lights Books, 2005, ©1963.
ISBN: 9780872860216
Branch Call Number: 811 GINSBERG
Characteristics: 98 pages ; 16 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Apr 12, 2016

This was the first book of Beat poetry that I ever read. I bought it when I was in high school but hadn't read it since I was about 18 (and that was well into the last century). It isn't Ginsberg's best book. This is his third City Lights book and Ginsberg himself didn't think it was that great. It is not as impressive as Howl and other poems or Kaddish and other poems but it does have some interesting writing. One poem that stands out to me is called Dream Record and I found it quite haunting even when I was 17 and didn't have any idea what it was about. The poem recounts a dream that Ginsberg had of a meeting with Joan Burroughs who had been dead for about four years at that time. I still find that to be the most moving poem in this collection. My Green Automobile is an ode to Neal Cassady and the cross country trips that they took in the early fifties. To anyone interested in the Beats and Beat poetry this book is worth checking out. It may not be Ginsberg's best but it is interesting.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number



Find it at SMPL

To Top