Allen Ginsberg

United States poet of the beat generation (1926-1997)

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America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.
America, why are your libraries full of tears?
Because systems of mass communication can communicate only officially acceptable levels of reality, no one can know the extent of the secret unconscious life. No one in America can know what will happen. No one is in real control.
Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!
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.
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.
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked.
It isn't enough for your heart to break because everybody's heart is broken now.
My own experience is that a certain kind of genius among students is best brought out in bed.
No monster vibration, no snake universe hallucinations. Many tiny jeweled violet flowers along the path of a living brook that looked like Blake's illustration for a canal in grassy Eden: huge Pacific watery shore, Orlovsky dancing naked like Shiva long-haired before giant green waves, titanic cliffs that Wordsworth mentioned in his own Sublime, great yellow sun veiled with mist hanging over the planet's oceanic horizon. No harm.
Nobody saves America by sniffing cocaine, jiggling your knees blankly in the rain, when it snows in your nose you catch cold in your brain.
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.
Whoever controls the media--the images--controls the culture.

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