Insights from the Counterculture, Part 6: Allen Ginsberg

CaptureWhoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture.

Sanity – a trick of agreement.

Candor disarms paranoia.

What if someone gave a war and nobody came?

War is good business. Invest your son.

Trees scream and drop bright leaves.

Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.

To gain your own voice, forget about having it heard.

So the question is, what happens when you make a distinction between what you tell your friends and what you tell your muse? The trick is to break down that distinction, to approach your muse as frankly as you would talk to yourself, or to your friends. It’s the ability to commit to writing, to write the same way you are.

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.

They censor words not the things they denote: It would create less of a stir to drop a piece of shit on Grant’s tomb than to write it out in white paint.  Because people recognize that’s what memorials are for–old bums & dogs to shit on.

I don’t think there is any truth. There are only points of view.

CaptureAllen Ginsberg wrote hundreds of poems, many of which have been captured in books: Howl and Other Poems, Kaddish and Other Poems, Reality Sandwiches, Planet News, The Fall of America; Poems of These States, Mind Breaths, White Shroud Poems, Mind Breaths, Plutonian Ode: Poems. His essays can be found in Deliberate Prose. His page at Amazon.

IMAGE: Young Allen Ginsberg

IMAGE: Old Allen Ginsberg

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3 responses to “Insights from the Counterculture, Part 6: Allen Ginsberg”

  1. Tam says:

    I spent a lovely afternoon with Alan Ginsberg in 1979 in Olympia Washington, where he came to give a poetry reading at The Evergreen State College. It was his birthday, so we had a nice potluck dinner for him, where we ate and then formed a big circle and made up poems. I remember him laughing and flirting and enjoying the kids surrounding him. Such an honor for me. We still remember you, Alan!

  2. diogenes says:

    “Sanity a trick of agreement” is Ginsberg quoting Ezra Pound.