San Francisco: City Lights, (1961). First Edition. Wraps. 16mo. Original wraps. Near fine. Sharp and clean, with only the barest hints of shelfwear and toning. INSCRIBED by Ginsberg to title page: "To Betty Benson - Allen Ginsberg / Jan 30, 1964." Near fine. Item #23303
While "Howl" is undeniably the more important poem, "Kaddish" is arguably the better one. Written in the wake of his mother Naomi's suicide, it remains raw, immediate, and moving — one of Ginsberg's finest. Part of City Lights' famed Pocket Poets Series, this is the increasingly uncommon (and frequently misidentified) true first edition, about which there is admitedly some genuine and legitimate confusion. Morgan is in disagreement with both Dowden and Cook as regards the true first printing; however, while Morgan is usually the more reliable source, bibliographic consensus seems to have settled on the priority laid out by Cook/Dowden — and this cataloguer (for reasons that surpass mere self-interest but are too lengthy for this catalogue description) strongly agrees. Uncommon when signed, and scarce with a near-contemporary inscription and in this condition. [Morgan A4.a2 — incorrectly]. [Cook p. 42-3]. [Dowden p. 9-8].