Literary Birthday – 3 June – Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg was born 3 June 1926, and died 5 April 1997.

10 Allen Ginsberg Quotes

  1. Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.
  2. Sometimes I feel in command when I’m writing. When I’m in the heat of some truthful tears, yes. Then, complete command. Other times—most of the time not. Just diddling away, woodcarving, getting a pretty shape; like most of my poetry.
  3. America I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.
  4. 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.
  5. There is nothing to be learned from history anymore. We’re in science fiction now.
  6. Fortunately art is a community effort – a small but select community living in a spiritualised world endeavouring to interpret the wars and the solitudes of the flesh.
  7. Poetry is the one place where people can speak their original human mind. It is the outlet for people to say in public what is known in private.
  8. I don’t think there is any truth. There are only points of view.
  9. It would be nice to be remembered as an ecstatic poet, or a poet whose work could inspire or elevate others’ minds; or a poet who spread some sense of expansion of awareness, or expansive consciousness. It would be nice to be remembered for generous energy — patience and generosity in energetic thought. But that’s sort of like a neurotic self-idealization.
  10. I’m quite satisfied. And my life is still full of spirituality and art and eroticism. I have studied with various Tibetan Buddhist teachers and have a guru, and I’ve done a lot of work with photography and music and poetry… and had a very good, worthwhile, enjoyable life

Allen Ginsberg was an American poet. He was a leading figure of the Beat Generation in the 1950s. He opposed militarism, economic materialism and sexual repression. He is best known for his epic poem Howl. His collection The Fall of America shared the annual U.S. National Book Award for Poetry in 1974.

Image: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Michiel Hendryckx, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 3rd June 2013