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Allen Ginsberg

(3 June 1926 – 5 April 1997 / Newark, New Jersey)

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.
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  • ''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 effort—a 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 (1977).
  • ''Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!''
    Allen Ginsberg (b. 1926), U.S. poet. entry, Oct. 1960, "Subliminal." "New York City," Journals: Early Fifties Early Sixties, ed. Gordon Ball (1977).
  • ''I have a new method of poetry. All you got to do is look over your notebooks ... or lay down on a couch, and think of anything that comes into your head, especially the miseries.... Then arrange in lines of two, three or four words each, don't bother about sentences, in sections of two, three or four lines each.''
    Allen Ginsberg (b. 1926), U.S. poet. Letter, 1952, to Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady. Published in Barry Miles, Ginsberg: A Biography, ch. 5 (1989).
  • ''Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It's that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that's what the poet does.''
    Allen Ginsberg (b. 1926), U.S. poet. Quoted in Barry Miles, Ginsberg: A Biography, ch. 17 (1989).
  • ''Ultimately Warhol's private moral reference was to the supreme kitsch of the Catholic church.''
    Allen Ginsberg (b. 1926), U.S. poet. "A Collective Portrait of Andy Warhol," Andy Warhol: A Retrospective (1986).
  • ''America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?''
    Allen Ginsberg (b. 1926), U.S. poet. America (l. 55). . . Allen Ginsberg: Collected Poems 1947-1980 (1984) Harper and Row.

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Plutonian Ode

I

What new element before us unborn in nature? Is there
a new thing under the Sun?
At last inquisitive Whitman a modern epic, detonative,
Scientific theme
First penned unmindful by Doctor Seaborg with poison-
ous hand, named for Death's planet through the
sea beyond Uranus

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