Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Please Plant This Book


"Please Plant This Book" was first distributed on 20th March 1968, 1st day of Spring festival in Golden Gate Park.
6000 copies were made, funded (approx $500) by band Mad River out of their advance from Capitol Records. Richard Brautigan had collaborated with them on spoken word/music tracks, also had helped feed and support them when they first moved to San Francisco and were broke and struggling.
Happy Birthday Richard Brautigan. He took his own life after giving it to us in his words.  


  1. Please Plant This Book is Richard Brautigan's sixth poetry publication. It consists of a folded and glued folder containing eight seed packets. On the front of each is a poem.

    The entire edition was offered for free distribution, and permission to reprint the collection was explicitly granted, as long as the new printing was also offered free-of-charge.

    I've decided to live in a world where
    books are changed into thousands of
    gardens with children playing
    in the gardens and learning the gen-
    tle ways of green growing things.

    In this spring of 1968 with the last
    third of the Twentieth Century
    travelling like a dream toward its
    end, it is time to plant books,
    to pass them into the ground, so that
    flowers and vegetables may grow
    from these pages.

    I thank the energy, the gods and the
    theater of history that brought
    us here to this very moment with
    this book in our hands, calling
    like a future down a green and
    starry hall.

    The time is right to mix sentences
    sentences with dirt and the sun
    with punctuation and the rain with
    verbs, and for worms to pass
    through question marks, and the
    stars to shine down on budding
    nouns, and the dew to form on

    My friends worry and they tell me
    about it. They talk of the world
    ending, of darkness and disaster.
    I always listen gently, and then
    say: No, it's not going to end. This
    is only a beginning, as this book
    is only a beginning.

    I think the spring of 1968 is a good
    time to look into our blood and
    see where our hearts are flowing
    as these flowers and vegetables
    will look into their hearts evrey day
    and see the sun reflecting like a
    great mirror their desire to live
    and be beautiful.

    The only hope we have is our
    children and the seeds we give them
    and the gardens we plant together.

    I pray that in thirty-two years
    passing that flowers and vegetables
    will water the Twenty-First Cen-
    tury with their voices telling that
    they were once a book turned by
    loving hands into life.

  2. I looked this book up on Amazon. They have one used copy selling for $975. Ironic since it was meant to be given away for free originally.