HUGE DREAMS: For the first time in one volume, THE NEW BOOK / A BOOK OF TORTURE and STAR present vividly contrasting sides of poetry's consciousness. In THE NEW BOOK / A BOOK OF TORTURE, a classic example of immediate biological expression, Michael McClure simultaneously delves into, and delivers himself from, the self-christened "dark night of the soul." STAR, a book of wide-ranging exploration, spiritual discovery, and political protest, springs from the essence of our humanity -- emotions, the sensations of eros, and play. Both of these books collected in HUGE DREAMS were influential in expanding poetry into a larger world that focused on nature, the environment, antiwar activities, indivdual anarchism, Zen Buddhism, jazz, and a kind of romantic mystical thought. This collection imparts a sense of the rich texture and individuality that fueled the Beat scene.
Michael gives an overview of the book:
From the Introduction by ROBERT CREELEY: "Perhaps poetry was not supposed either to enter or to care about a world which was not to be found in the approved books. Thus it is that Michael McClure shares a place with the great William Blake, with the visionary Shelley, with the passsionate D. H. Lawrence, with his old friends Allen Ginsberg, Charles Olson, and Robert Duncan. It was McClure's song Janis Joplin sang, making them both a little better off: 'Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz? My friends all drive Porsches. I must make amends...' Ecology is where one lives. "But we're at the beginning, not the end, and where we are going, there will never be one. Beleive me -- sweet dreams!"
Michael McClure has long been noted for the popularity of his dynamic poetry performances. At the age of 22 he gave his first poetry reading at the legendary Six Gallery event in San Francisco, where Allen Ginsberg first read Howl. Today McClure is more active than ever,...