Remembering Philip Lamantia

Philip Lamantia (1927-2005)

It is – or would have been – the 85th birthday today of the great American Surrealist poet, Philip Lamantia. We would draw your attention to our comprehensive posting on him last year here.

Garrett Caples’  apprenticeship and generous custodianship of Philip is recounted here and here.

We look forward with great interest to his edition of  The Collected Poems (due out, when we last heard, from the University of California Press, sometime towards the end of next year).

Meantime, just as a taster, and courtesy City Lights’ “Abandon All Despair Ye Who Enter Here” blog, here’s “Going Forth By Day”, an excerpt from Tau, Lamantia’s “mystical second collection of poems, slated for publication in 1955, but suppressed by the poet due to his evolving religious beliefs”.  City Lights posthumously published it (with Caples’ introduction), in 2008, along with Journey to the End by legendary “lost” Beat, John Hoffman (the source (subject), so it’s been told, of Allen’s immortal line “Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night”, the poet who’s work Lamantia read that night at the famous Gallery Six reading, mysteriously disappearing in Mexico and dead at 25).
A review of that book (Tau combined with Journey to the End) may be read here.

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