Jack Kerouac

(12 March 1922 - 21 October 1969 / Lowell, Massachusetts)

In Vain Poem by Jack Kerouac


The stars in the sky
In vain
The tragedy of Hamlet
In vain
The key in the lock
In vain
The sleeping mother
In vain
The lamp in the corner
In vain
The lamp in the corner unlit
In vain
Abraham Lincoln
In vain
The Aztec empire
In vain
The writing hand: in vain
(The shoetrees in the shoes
In vain
The windowshade string upon
the hand bible
In vain—
The glitter of the greenglass
ashtray
In vain
The bear in the woods
In vain
The Life of Buddha
In vain)

Submitted: Friday, May 04, 2012

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Comments about this poem (In Vain by Jack Kerouac )

  • Rookie - 0 Points Lydia Kim (11/29/2014 7:27:00 PM)

    This must've been written when he was going through one of his depressions. Anyone with depression knows everything seems to be in vain and bleakly hopeless. I think this is bit self indulgent for Jack and I'm pleased to be able to read what he was thinking at a dark time. It's as if he doesn't care whether or not someone else reads this. It's all for him all his own thoughts in writing. (Report) Reply

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