We were so many, We were working as one, We were miles of moiling wheat In a sizzling summer's heat. But now we are scattered And flung far apart, But you and I still live as one Through coals in the heart. And if anything is left Of the coal in the soul, Oh, flash it to me.
--Ed Sanders, "Keeping the Issues Alive" (Song)
THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED
TO MY DAUGHTERS
MALLAY AND NORA
[Introduction] Earlier in the history of American literature, the novelist Henry James acknowledged in his biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne that "the best things come, as a general thing, from the talents that are members of a group; every man works better when he has companions working in the same line, and yielding the stimulus of suggestion, comparison, emulation."
The poet Gary Snyder once joked there was no Beat Generation - it consisted of only three or four people, and four people don't make up a generation.