The Origins of Joy in Poetry
By Jack Kerouac
Chicago Review, 1958
The new American poetry as typified by the SF Renaissance (which means Ginsburg, me, Rexroth, Ferlinghetti, McClure, Corso, Gary Snyder, Phil Lamantia, Phil Whalen, I guess) is a kind of new-old Zen Lunacy poetry, writing whatever comes into your head as it comes, poetry returned to its origin, in the bardic child, truly ORAL as Ferling said, instead of gray faced Academic quibbling. Poetry & Prose had for a long-time fallen into the false hands of the false. These new pure poets confess forth for sheer joy of confession. They are the CHILDREN. They are also childlike graybeard Homers singing in the street. They SING, they SWING. It is diametrically opposed to the Eliot shot, who so dismally advises his dreary negative rules like the objective correlative, etc, which is just a lot of constipation and ultimately emasculation of the pure masculine urge to freely sing. In spite of the dry rules he set down his poetry itself is sublime. I could say a lot more but ain’t got time or sense. But SF is the poetry of a new Holy Lunacy like that of ancient times (Li Po, Han Shan, Tom O Bedlam, Kit Smart, Blake) yet it also has the mental discipline of pointing out things directly, purely concretely, no abstractions or explanations, wham wham the true blue song of man.
(His complete view of himself as a poet)