Week 30– Gathering and Organizing Research (Ginsberg, Kerouac, and Brooks)

Are you this excited for your research?!?!

I personally love this phase of the writing process. I love gathering facts and making note cards and seeing all the pieces begin to fall into place. I especially love those “wow moments” where you find the PERFECT quote–when someone has already said what you think, but they said it so much better than you ever would have!!! That is like finding a burried treasure!!!

I am hoping that you are having success so far with your note cards. I am a little nervous for those of you who did not come to class on Friday, because I didn’t get to see your cards and make sure you are on the right track. If you turn them in this Friday and they are wrong–YIKES! They are worth a lot of points. So, if you were not there Friday and I didn’t check your cards can you please text or email me several pictures of your cards. I just want you to do them right and get full credit.

This Friday will be a big day for your grade. You have to show me your first rough draft, your outline, 5 source cards (at least 2 print sources like books or magazines, and 3 online sources), and 10 note cards (They need to have the number of the source card they go with in the corner). For your note cards, please identify if each note is a quote (Q), summary (S), or paraphrase (P)– Just so I know that you know.

I need you to turn in this work as soon as you get to Friday School, so that I can grade it and hand it back in class. Because you are turning in so much, I need you to help me out. PLEASE STAPLE your rough draft, PLEASE STAPLE your outline if it is longer than one page. I don’t want papers getting lost. PLEASE put a paperclip on your source cards and another paperclip on your notecards. THEN place your cards in a ziplock bag with your name CLEARLY WRITTEN on the bag. 

I don’t want a chance of one of your valuable research treasures getting lost.

Once you get through this part, things get a little easier! So take a breath and keep going!!!

This is like CrossFit for your brain.

Now we will have just a little fun this week . . .

Beatnik Poetry

Friday in class, we learned a little bit about some “beat poetry.” Do you remember learning about the beatniks in Mrs. Kim’s class?

Allen Ginsburg

Well, on Friday we learned about Allen Ginsburg. Although we can’t learn too much about him for the sake of decency. We read a poem where he writes about a little fantasy he has about meeting Walt Whitman at a grocery store.

A Supermarket in California


What thoughts I have of you tonight Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!
What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!—and you, Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons?I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?
I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you, and followed in my imagination by the store detective.
We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier.Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in an hour. Which way does your beard point tonight?
(I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.)
Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we’ll both be lonely.
Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?
Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe?

Berkeley, 1955

I am not a huge fan of Allen Ginsburg. I used to have one of his books, Howl, but I had to get rid of it because it was gross. But there are certain things that I can appreciate about this poem. First of all, I love the diction; he chooses such interesting and powerful words. I also love the sensory details. I love how the style, free verse, lends itself well to the feeling of fantasy. I also, wanted to share it with you since we had read Walt Whitman in class.

Allen Ginsberg reaing to a large group
Young Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac

Here is another beat poet (who actually coined the term “beat poet”) named Jack Kerouac. This poem is called “Daydreams for Ginsberg.”

I lie on my back at midnight
hearing the marvelous strange chime
of the clocks, and know it’s mid-
night and in that instant the whole
world swims into sight for me
in the form of beautiful swarm-
ing m u t t a worlds-
everything is happening, shining

blazing in faith, I know I’m
forever right & all’s I got to
do (as I hear the ordinary
extant voices of ladies talking
in some kitchen at midnight
oilcloth cups of cocoa
cardore to mump the
rinnegain in his
darlin drain-) i will write
it, all the talk of the world
everywhere in this morning, leav-
ing open parentheses sections
for my own accompanying inner
thoughts-with roars of me
all brain-all world
roaring-vibrating-I put
it down, swiftly, 1,000 words
(of pages) compressed into one second
of time-I’ll be long
robed & long gold haired in
the famous Greek afternoon
of some Greek City
Fame Immortal & they’ll
have to find me where they find
the t h n u p f t of my
shroud bags flying
flag yagging Lucien
Midnight back in their
mouths-Gore Vidal’ll
be amazed, annoyed-
my words’ll be writ in gold
& preserved in libraries like
Finnegans Wake & Visions of Neal

I don’t want to spend too much time disecting that, but I just wanted you to get the experience of reading it. Don’t do any research into it, who knows what you will find!!! Most of these guys were really into Buddhism too. So you can see some Buddhist allusions in that poem.

Gwendolyn Brooks

She was not a “beat poet” but I want us to read one of her little poems anyway.

We Real Cool

Gwendolyn Brooks, 19172000
                   THE POOL PLAYERS. 
                   SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

Now, listen to her read it. What do you notice about how the poem sounds?

Please leave a comment about what you think about each poet this week 🙂

With Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost I can say, “If you like this poem, you should read some of their other stuff.”

But we are at the point in the school year where I can no longer safely say that.

If you like any of these poets, don’t read their other stuff unless your parents read it first.


22 thoughts on “Week 30– Gathering and Organizing Research (Ginsberg, Kerouac, and Brooks)

  1. Allen Ginsburg- He was interesting. He felt a bit creepy to me, as if he were STALKING Walt Whitman instead of being his friend. He reminds me of this little park on a street corner called “Kiwanis Korner”. It always either has a trashcan where the homeless dig, or a trashcan where the homeless sleep. I’d definitely not read his poems again, seeing this one was rather dreamy-feeling; I honestly don’t like that feeling.

    Jack Kerouac- He was interesting, and not in a very good way at all. He gave me a definite Buddhism vibe there right when he began talking about golden words inscribed in books and buddah. I’d rather stay far away as possible from anything that man conceived of. I’ll never read his words on purpose again unless instructed by God!

    Gwendolyn Brooks- I loved her! She reminded me of one of those nice little 1st grade teachers who hangs big, laminated paper apples with the cute little smiling green worms in them on her wall! I also found her rather funny, yet I’ll just stay far from her poems for the sake of all things good. I’ve got no clue whats out there in the strange world of poetry and art. (From the college art class I’m taking, I can see that the world of art is strange enough… Poetry is much like art. Just stay away from it all together!)

  2. Allen Ginsburg- Umm, well, he was definitely poetic, but not in the right way (if that makes sense)
    Jack Kerouac- I thought the poem had a real nice rhythm, and a dreamy feel to it, which I Like. As for the content of the poem, the Buddha stuff was a little weird, but fits I guess.
    Gwendolyn Brooks- First of all, I love her name! And the poem was really good, it was short and seemingly simple, but has such a depth to it concerning youth.

  3. Allen Ginsburg- I didn’t really understand this guy at all… I’m going to be honest about it. He didn’t make sense to me.

    Jack Kerouac- Mmmmmm… this guy was okay. I little more understandable but still not too fond of him.

    Gwendolyn Brooks- This was probably my favorite. I don’t know why but this girl made me laugh. A lot. 😀 It amused me. I think because it reminded me of that song “Cool Kids” by EchoSmith.

  4. Allen Ginsburg – I mean, his poem was creative, but that’s because no one would think of a like, common thing, but yet not common subject to write a poem about.

    Jack Kerouac – His poem was… good I guess. It has that feel some other poems usually do.

    Gwendolyn Brooks – When I just looked at the first to lines, I was like: “are they bragging about their coolness?”, but then the ending. Just the last two lines.

  5. Allen Ginsburg: He almost seems like a lunatic, from this poem anyway. I like the way he worded this part of the poem,

    “In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations! What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!—and you, Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons?I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.”

    Although I did say he seemed like a lunatic, after re-reading that part several times, I find that the way he worded it was creative, and something you don’t ever see: unique.

    Jack Kerouac: I liked him a little bit. Most of all poets have their own style for writing, and from everything I’ve ever read, I’ve never read anything with these, quick turns, I guess I should say. Like how it went from him laying on his back at midnight while listening to the chimes of a clock, to him seeing the shining Buddha islands in a flash. I didn’t like how he repeated himself here,

    “I lie on my back at midnight
    hearing the marvelous strange chime
    of the clocks, and know it’s mid-
    night and in that instant the whole…”

    He repeated that it was midnight twice.

    Gwendolyn Brooks: I like her the most out of the three. You could make a rap out of her poem, and it’s really catchy. The first time I read it, I ended up rapping it in my own head lol.

  6. Allen Ginsburg-His poem was interesting. I liked how he described things, but like Kayley said, it sounds like he’s stalking Walt Whitman, which just gives me the creeps. But other then that he was okay.

    Jack Kerouac-Okay first off, I CAN’T EVEN PRONOUNCE HIS LAST NAME LIKE WHAT?? Anyway, his writing style was a bit dreamy and I had to read it a couple times to understand it cause I got confused. I wouldn’t read any of his other works and didn’t like him all that much :/

    Gwendolyn Brooks-I really enjoyed her poem. Like Alexys said, it reminded me of the song Cool Kids by Echosmith. I’m also glad you let us listen to her read it because I read it differently. I saw the ‘we’ part after the period once but I still read it like a normal sentence, and it made more sense when she read it the way she did. I liked her 🙂 She could be my neighbor, since I live in a community for older people (they’re all grandparents) she would be a nice addition to my street 🙂

  7. Allen Ginsburg- A little confusing to be honest… I see where he tries to go, but the path he takes there is weird.

    Jack Kerouac- Has a very loquacious and eloquent tone, but again, confusing and words things weirdly.

    Gwendolyn Brooks- Her poem comes forth almost like its lyrics to a song put to spoken word. It comes almost naturally and rolls off of the toungue.

        1. My dear brother in Christ, I’m sorry. I am sorry I got angry earlier. And I am sorry, but I will not give her your phone number. (I lost your phone number too) If I had it, I still wouldn’t give it to her. Before you get upset and totally ignore what I have to say, listen please. You probably think that I have absolutely no clue what “young love” is like, but I have the slightest idea. I obsessed- OBSESSED- over a guy not too long ago. God took that away from me. I awoke love before the time was right, and it was so hard for me to stay pure. I almost broke my standards. Song of Solomon 8:8, “Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.” That includes men. No, I don’t know better than you, I don’t know better than anyone! And I’m putting this comment out there because I don’t want anyone to think I’m this perfect person who never has any issues, knows everything, and is totally cool. I’m aware you want to be pure, and so does Macey, but it’s a hard thing to do. Never compromise your standards. I’m not telling you how to live, nor am I condemning you, but I am suggesting that you pray about whats going on between you two. Don’t compromise your standards for purity for anything. Ever. Please, don’t awake love until the time is right. I have to go because I have homeschool work to do. God bless you. ~ Seriously.

  8. Allen Ginsberg- He’s a creep.

    Jack Kerouac- I liked his poem but those random words kind of confused me a bit.

    Gwendolyn Brooks- I loved her poem a lot more than the other two. It comes off as natural like she’s just talking to someone.

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