Poetry Review — The Scripture of the Golden Eternity

The Scripture of the Golden Eternity by Jack Kerouac

The Scripture of the Golden Eternity by Jack Kerouac is a personalized collection of Beat interpreted Buddhism. The Open Road Integrated Media ebook version of the book uses their own typesetting which keeps the lines together and in their original format when you change text size. Many poems read better when the lines are presented when intended. In other ebooks, I am forced to go into landscape mode to retain line format. Unlike prose line breaks are important in many poems and can change the meaning of a line when the breaks are not in the right place.

The Scripture of the Golden Eternity is a collection of sixty-six poems written in what seems to me a prayer book. Each short poem is self-contained and is meant to be read and pondered on. Kerouac and the Beat version of Buddhism takes on its own unique form. Anyone with a knowledge of Buddhism who has read Dharma Bums understands this. It is not bad, but just a different Americanized, Beat interpretation.

Kerouac presents a compact version of his exploration into Buddhism and like many Americans he comes from a Christian or Catholic culture and attempts to reconcile his family religion with Buddhism. The Scripture of the Golden Eternity is a more mature view than the sometimes satirized Beat view that can be seen in Dharma Bums. A nice collection that is meant to be read and meditated upon.

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