Irwin Allen Ginsber was an American poet and one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation in the 1950s. He vigorously opposed militarism, materialism and sexual repression. Ginsberg is best known for his epic poem "Howl", in which he celebrated his fellow "angel-headed hipsters" and harshly denounced what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States. This poem is one of the classic poems of the Beat Generation. The poem, which was dedicated to writer Carl Solomon, opens:
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at ... more »
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Allen Ginsberg Poems
A Supermarket in California
What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the streets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon. In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit
Father Death Blues
Hey Father Death, I'm flying home Hey poor man, you're all alone Hey old daddy, I know where I'm going
Elan that lifts me above the clouds into pure space, timeless, yea eternal Breath transmuted into words Transmuted back to breath
Haiku (Never Published)
Drinking my tea Without sugar- No difference.
Death & Fame
When I die I don't care what happens to my body throw ashes in the air, scatter 'em in East River bury an urn in Elizabeth New Jersey, B'nai Israel Cemetery
Homage to Kenneth Koch If I were doing my Laundry I'd wash my dirty Iran
An Eastern Ballad
I speak of love that comes to mind: The moon is faithful, although blind; She moves in thought she cannot speak. Perfect care has made her bleak.
CIA Dope Calypso
In nineteen hundred forty-nine China was won by Mao Tse-tung Chiang Kai Shek's army ran away They were waiting there in Thailand yesterday
Fourth Floor, Dawn, Up All Night Writing...
Pigeons shake their wings on the copper church roof out my window across the street, a bird perched on the cross surveys the city's blue-grey clouds. Larry Rivers 'll come at 10 AM and take my picture. I'm taking
Stand up against governments, against God. Stay irresponsible. Say only what we know & imagine. Absolutes are Coercion.
Kaddish, Part I
Strange now to think of you, gone without corsets & eyes, while I walk on the sunny pavement of Greenwich Village. downtown Manhattan, clear winter noon, and I've been up all night, talking, talking, reading the Kaddish aloud, listening to Ray Charles blues
O dear sweet rosy unattainable desire ...how sad, no way to change the mad
I walked on the banks of the tincan banana dock and sat down under the huge shade of a Southern Pacific locomotive to look for the sunset over the box house hills and cry. Jack Kerouac sat beside me on a busted rusty iron pole, companion, we thought the same thoughts of the soul, bleak and blue and sad-eyed, surrounded by the gnarled steel roots of trees of machinery.
First Party At Ken Kesey's With Hell's A...
Cool black night thru redwoods cars parked outside in shade behind the gate, stars dim above the ravine, a fire burning by the side
Quotationsmore quotations »
''who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning were stanzas of gibberish.''Allen Ginsberg (b. 1926), U.S. poet. Howl (l. 51). . . Allen Ginsberg: Collected Poems 1947-1980 (1984) Harper and Row.
''It isn't enough for your heart to break because everybody's heart is broken now.''Allen Ginsberg (b. 1926), U.S. poet. Indian Journals, entry for September 6, 1962 (1970). Written in Calcutta.
''My own experience is that a certain kind of genius among students is best brought out in bed.''Allen Ginsberg (b. 1926), U.S. poet. interview, Feb. 1981, Washington Post (July 29, 1984). With Nancy Bunge at Michigan State University.
''what can he do to escape that fatal Mama''Allen Ginsberg (b. 1926), U.S. poet. Kaddish (l. 128). . . Allen Ginsberg: Collected Poems 1947-1980 (1984) Harper and Row.
''Fortunately art is a community efforta small but select community living in a spiritualized world endeavoring to interpret the wars and the solitudes of the flesh.''Allen Ginsberg (b. 1926), U.S. poet. "Mexico and Return to U.S.," entry for July 11, 1954, Journals: Early Fifties Early Sixties, ed. Gordon Ball (197...
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
A Supermarket in California
What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the
streets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit
supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!
What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night! Aisles
full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes! --- and you,
Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons?
I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the
meats in the ...