Saturday, January 16, 2010

Three Poem Paintings

Some of you may not know than in addition to conventional poetry (in whatever sense his work may be considered “conventional”), Kenneth Patchen also produced a number of “poem paintings,” which you can find in such collections as In Quest of Candlelighters & Hallelujah Anyway (now that’s a title for a poetry book!) Since I’m doing a bit of Patchen overview in January, I felt I’d be remiss not to post a few of these. Hope you enjoy them—I find them beautiful & moving!

Have a happy Saturday!


  1. A Happy Saturday John.Yes, A Beautiful Combination of Text+Graphic. Cheers Mate!

  2. Hi Tony: Thanks! Have a great weekend!

  3. When I was 16 and at the peak of my Beat obsession, I stumbled across a couple of City Lights Patchen books in a very respectable Bloomsbury bookshop. A love for his stuff survived the dimming of that passion so it's good to see these wonderful crossovers.

  4. the cleveland public library has a wonderful collection of works by and about patchen! a while back when I was on a patchen kick I checked out a great edition that had these moving poem paintings.


  5. Hi Dick & Mouse

    Dick: His poem paintings are astounding, & yes, I think Patchen's stuff really stands above much of the Beat writing--I feel the same way about Ted Berrigan, tho he was more tangentially connected to the Beat Movement.

    Mouse: How great!--I don't know of anything else quite like these. & you're welcome of course!

  6. These are awesome.

    I like the second one best. :)


    Last year, I started a series of paintings mixing my favorite poems with my favorite music.

    I only finished one of 'em, though. 'The Rime of the Ancient Modest Mouse'. Complete with a painted ship, upon a painted ocean. ;)

    No text, though. Just images.


    If Patchen does come back, I hope to God I AM marching down the street, holding roses...

    Maybe I'll do it tomorrow. Just to see if I can tempt him out of eternity. ;)

  7. What fantastic things

    If I'd known them, I'd have used the first as an illustration for the 10s/60s post I wrote the other day.

  8. Hi T, Ginger & Bill

    T: Glad you liked them!

    Ginger: We could use someone like Patchen around these days! Would love to think of you marching down the street with flowers!

    Bill: Yes, they would have gone with that post--glad you liked them!


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