Saturday, August 16, 2008

It's the Birthday of Poet Lew Welch

It's the birthday of Beat poet Lew Welch. He was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1926. He's the author of many collections of poetry, including Hermit Poems (1965) and At Times We're Almost Able To See (1965). He became friends with poets Gary Snyder and Philip Whalen at Reed College in the late 1940s.

During this time William Carlos Williams visited the college and met the three poets. He admired Welch's early poems and tried to get his thesis published.

After graduating from Reed College, he moved to New York and worked in advertising. He later became a part of the San Francisco poetry scene. His first book, Wobbly Rock, was published in 1960. He taught poetry workshops at Berkeley, but he became depressed and he moved up into the mountains.

In 1971, his friend Gary Snyder visited Welch's campsite and he found a suicide note in Welch's truck. Welch's body was never found.

Lew Welch is the step-father of Huey Lewis and the news, who took his stage name in honor of Welch.

Lew Welch Quotes
"Step out onto the Planet. Draw a circle a hundred feet round. Inside the circle are 300 things nobody understands, and, maybe, nobody’s ever really seen. How many can you find?" -Lew Welch

"Seeking perfect total enlightenment is like looking for a flashlight when all you need the flashlight for is to find your flashlight." -Lew Welch

"You can't fix it. You can't make it go away. I don't know what you're going to do about it, but I know what I'm going to do about it. I'm just going to walk away from it. Maybe a small part of it will die if I'm not around feeding it anymore." - Lew Welch

"trails go nowhere. they end exactly where you stop." - Lew Welch

"The True Rebel never advertises it. He prefers his joy to Missionary Work". -Lew Welch


Lew Welch at The Beat Page

Lew Welch @ Wikipedia

1 comment:

Greg said...

Thanks for stopping by & for the comment on success & failure, Fitz!