In His Own Write – John Lennon (1964)


“It was 51 years ago today (or last month), Sgt. Lennon taught the words to play. Having been invited by Jonathan Cape Publishers in Britain and Simon and Schuster in America to assemble snippets of his signature quirky poetry and prose for a 81-page glimpse into the mind of a Beatle, John stepped up to the task. The result was In His Own Write, a slender volume of Lennon-speak that was heralded as reminiscent of James Joyce, James Thurber, Lewis Carroll, and Edgar Lear. It seemed, back then, to be some of those things. But for those who know John Lennon best and have studied his life and career for the last five decades, it has emerged as none of those things. For John Lennon’s literary language is his and his alone — a distinctive mélange created by his rich Liverpudlian heritage and his solitary life story. Without a doubt, In His Own Write is uniquely Scouse; John dabbles in the dark, double-entendre that belongs to Merseyside. Wry and slicing, In His Own Write is a lark and a ‘larf,’ but it owns a latent, bitter bite for which Scouse comedians (like Jimmy Tarbuck) were always famous. More importantly, however, John’s poetry and prose reflect his soul’s despair. His musings appear light and airy at first glimpse. But considered, they reveal themselves to be the lonely lexis of a betrayed and deserted genius. They are underpinned by “a sadness too deep for words” (as John once explained himself to his mate, Stu Sutcliffe). Much later, in ‘Strawberry Fields Forever,’ John penned, ‘No one, I think, is in my tree. I mean, it must be high or low.’ And that is the case with In His Own Write. No one else, it seems, thinks or writes like John Lennon, and he realizes it. He is singularly and dramatically unique. Alone. And so, in the months following the release of In His Own Write, although many people purchased the book, few people ‘got it.’ His work either captivated critics for the wrong reasons or alienated his audience. People were either drawn to the successful Beatle or repelled by the scathing satirist that was Lennon. Few understood the personal grief and depression lurking beneath the fanciful exterior of John’s jaunty poems and snarky stories. …”
John Lennon’s ‘In His Own Write’: 51 Sneers After the Pact
W – In His Own Write
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YouTube: John Lennon, “In His Own Write”, John Lennon Talks About ‘In His Own Write’ At The National Theatre In 1968

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