Allen Ginsberg quotes:

  • 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.

  • Ultimately Warhol's private moral reference was to the supreme kitsch of the Catholic church.

  • I think it was when I ran into Kerouac and Burroughs - when I was 17 - that I realized I was talking through an empty skull... I wasn't thinking my own thoughts or saying my own thoughts.

  • 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.

  • I want people to bow as they see me and say he is gifted with poetry, he has seen the presence of the creator.

  • Whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture.

  • 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.

  • The weight of the world is love. Under the burden of solitude, under the burden of dissatisfaction.

  • 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?

  • in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea journey on the highway across America in tears to the door of my cottage in the Western night

  • I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked.

  • 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.

  • what sphinx of cement and aluminium bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination

  • Last Exit to Brooklyn should explode like a rusty hellish bombshell over America and still be eagerly read in a hundred years.

  • Nobody saves America by sniffing cocaine. Jiggling your knees blankeyed in the rain, when it snows in your nose you catch cold in your brain.

  • The only thing that can save the world is the reclaiming of the awareness of the world. That's what poetry does.

  • Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!

  • If I had a soul I sold it for pretty words If I had a body I used it up spurting my essence Allen Ginsberg warns you dont follow my path to extinction

  • So the problem for the poetic artist or the photographer is the common problem of continuous attentiveness, continuous attempts to notice what he is noticing, continuous alertness to catch himself thinking or seeing, devotional attentiveness to the world he's moving through.

  • Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! gone down the American river! Dreams! adorations! illumnations! religions! the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit!

  • Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!

  • The apparition of an evil, sick unconscious wild city rose before me in visible semblance, and about the dead buildings in the barren air, the bodies of the soul that built the wonderland shuffled and stalked and stalked and lurched in attitudes of immemorial nightmare all around.

  • Poetry's role is to provide spontaneous individual candor as distinct from manipulation and brainwash.

  • We are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter

  • Let the straight flower bespeak its purpose in straightness - to seek the light. Let the crooked flower bespeak its purpose in crookedness - to seek the light. Let the crookedness and straightness bespeak the light.

  • It isn't enough for your heart to break because everybody's heart is broken now.

  • I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of the night.

  • Millions of fathers in rainMillions of mothers in painMillions of brothers in woeMillions of sisters nowhere to goMillions of daughters walk in the mudMillions of children wash in the floodA million girls vomit and groanMillions of families hopeless alone

  • Enraptured in hypnotic war"

  • A naked lunch is natural to us We eat reality sandwiches. But allegories are so much lettuce. Don't hide the madness.

  • I'm an old man now, and a lonesome man in Kansas / but not afraid / to speak my lonesomeness in a car, / because not only my lonesomeness / it's Ours, all over America, / O tender fellows --/ & spoken lonesomeness is Prophecy / in the moon 100 years ago or in / the middle of Kansas now.

  • Every American wants MORE & MORE of the world and why not, you only live once. But the mistake made in America is persons accumulate more & more dead matter, machinery, possessions & rugs & fact information at the expense of what really counts as more: feeling, good feeling, sex feeling, tenderness feeling, mutual feeling. You own twice as much rug if you're twice as aware of the rug.

  • Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness.

  • 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.

  • Bob Dylan's one of the greatest blues singers of the western world; ancient art, on-the-spot improvisation, mind quickness, endless variation, classical formulae, prophetic vision, mighty wind-horse.

  • I had a moment of clarity, saw the feeling in the heart of things, walked out to the garden crying.

  • What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whit- man, for I walked down the sidestreets 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!

  • I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber,poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys. I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?

  • I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?

  • I am learning by the week, but my poesy is still not my own. New rhyme, new me me me in words. I am not all this carven rhetoric.

  • No rest without love, no sleep without dreams of love- be mad or chill obsessed with angels or machines, the final wish is love -cannot be bitter, cannot deny, cannot withhold if denied: the weight is too heavy

  • America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I'm not sorry.

  • You can't escape the past in Paris, and yet what's so wonderful about it is that the past and present intermingle so intangibly that it doesn't seem to burden.

  • 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 shout blind on the phonograph

  • The poignancy of a photograph comes from looking back to a fleeting moment in a floating world. The transitoriness is what creates the sense of the sacred

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

  • The closet door is open for me, where I left it, since I left it open, it has graciously stayed open.

  • America, the plum blossoms are falling.

  • We're all golden sunflowers inside.

  • and he imagines carsand rides them in his dreams,so lonely growing up amongthe imaginary automobilesand dead souls of Tarrytownto createout of his own imaginationthe beauty of his wildforebears - a mythology he cannot inherit.

  • ...robots pencil prescriptions for acid gas sunsets

  • Which way will the sunflower turn surrounded by millions of suns?

  • America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.

  • So I had a choice between going to a jail or going to a bughouse like a nice young middle-class student. So I chose to go to a very polite mental hospital. When I left eight months later, they said, 'You were never psychotic. You were just an average neurotic.'

  • The fact to which we have got to cling, as to a lifebelt, is that it is possible to be a normal decent person and yet be fully alive.

  • To gain your own voice you have to forget about having it heard.

  • I believe that we are put here in human form to decipher the hieroglyphs of love and suffering. And, there is no degree of love or intensity of feeling that does not bring with it the possibility of a crippling hurt. But, it is a duty to take that risk and love without reserve or defense.

  • Our heads are round so thought can change direction

  • I don't do anything with my life except romanticize and decay with indecision.

  • Concentrate on what you want to say to yourself and your friends. Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness. You say what you want to say when you don't care who's listening.

  • The suffering itself is not so bad; it's the resentment against suffering that is the real pain.

  • To gain your own voice, forget about having it heard. Become a saint of your own province and your own consciousness.

  • You are what you think about all day.

  • None of us understand what we're doing, but we do beautiful things anyway.

  • America, I've given you all and now I'm nothing.

  • First thought, best thought.

  • Candor disarms paranoia.

  • I never dreamed the sea so deep, The earth so dark; so long my sleep, I have become another child. I wake to see the world go wild.

  • A poem is like a radio that can broadcast continuously for thousands of years.

  • We love to be hurt and we love to have our unhealing wounds opened and reopened again: we sit staring in the mirror of art, fascinated by our own deformities.

  • I didn't know the names of the flowers - now my garden is gone.

  • It means abandoning being a poet, abandoning your careerism, abandoning even the idea of writing any poetry, really abandoning, giving up as hopeless - abandoning the possibility of really expressing yourself to the nations of the world. Abandoning the idea of being a prophet with honor and dignity, and abandoning the glory of poetry and just settling down in the muck of your own mindYou really have to make a resolution to write for yourself, in the sense of not writing to impress yourself, but just writing what your self is saying.

  • I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.

  • When you notice something clearly and see it vividly, it then becomes sacred.

  • Let go of the spirit of the departed, and continue the celebration of your own life.

  • Scientist alone is true poet he gives us the moon he promises the stars he'll make us a new universe if it comes to that.

  • It's never to late to do nothing at all.

  • There is nothing to be learned from history anymore. We're in science fiction now.

  • There should be no distinction between what we write down, and what we really know.

  • We're not our skin of grime, we're not our dread bleak dusty imageless locomotive, we're all beautiful golden sunflowers inside, we're blessed by our own seed & hairy naked accomplishment-bodies growing into mad black formal sunflowers in the sunset, spied on by our eyes under the shadow of the mad locomotive riverbank sunset Frisco hilly tincan evening sitdown vision.

  • I smoke marijuana every chance I get.

  • Sometime Iā??ll lay down my wrath, As I lay my body down Between the ache of breath and breath, Golden slumber in the bone.

  • Since art is merely and ultimately self-expressive, we conclude that the fullest art, the most individual, uninfluenced, unrepressed, uninhibited expression of art is true expression and the true art.

  • The parts that embarrass you the most are usually the most interesting poetically, are usually the most naked of all, the rawest, the goofiest, the strangest and most eccentric and at the same time, most representative, most universal... That was something I earned from Kerouac, which was that spontaneous writing could be embarrassing... The cure for that is to write the thing down which you will not publish and which you won't show people. To write secretly... so you can actually be free to say anything you want.

  • You assume we are all sexually stable; while on the other hand, as I have become acquainted with people, I find that they are all perverted sinners, one way or another, that the whole society is corrupt and rotten and repressed and unconscious that it exhibits its repression in various forms of social sadism.

  • I really believe, or want to believe, really I am nuts, otherwise I'll never be sane.

  • America, why are your libraries full of tears?

  • Now I have enough money to travel wherever I want, but I haven't got the health.

  • The real America that Whitman proclaimed and Thoreau decoded.

  • You too must seek the sun...

  • Ordinary mind includes eternal perceptions. Notice what you notice. Observe what's vivid. Catch yourself thinking. Vividness is self-selecting. And remember the future.

  • Manā??s usurpation over nature is an egotism that will destroy human as well as whale kingdoms. ā?¦ Academies should return to wisdom study in tree groves rather than robot study in plastic cells

  • Who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soul between 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame

  • Marijuana is a useful catalyst for specific optical and aural aesthetic perceptions. I apprehended the structure of certain pieces of jazz and classical music in a new manner under the influence of marijuana, and these apprehensions have remained valid in years of normal consciousness.

  • Recent history is the record of one vast conspiracy to impose one level of mechanical consciousness on mankind.

  • All these books are published in Heaven.

  • I learned a world from each / one whom I loved

  • Affection is the most important thing. And the quality of affection - with your friends, your lovers, your family. But particularly for your own generation.

  • Scientist alone is true poet.

  • ...the bewildering beauty of Paris...

  • What if someone gave a war and Nobody came?

  • From it's inception Beat poetry was hailed as "something NEW" and "like all good spontaneous jazz, newness is acceptable and expected - by hip people who listen." But the newness of jazz has in it the echoes of J. S. Bach.

  • How sick i am! that thought Always comes to me with horror. Is it this strange for everybody? But such fugitive feelings have always been my metier.

  • First thoughts are the strongest.

  • War is good business Invest your son

  • The whole blear world of smoke and twisted steel around my head in a railroad car, and my mind wandering past the rust into futurity: I saw the sun go down in a carnal and primeval world, leaving darkness to cover my railroad train because the other side of the world was waiting for dawn.

  • If you want to make order, put your own heart in order, and, having put one's heart in order, one can regulate the family order.

  • Everything is holy! everybody's holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman's an angel!

  • Everybody's serious but me.

  • When it snows in your nose, you catch cold in your brain.

  • The Rolling Stones were an inkling towards an appreciation of the unity of music, dance and words. Any of the black R&B people who had a stage show that involved dancing, music and words did the same thing, except that I thought Jagger's words were good, his music was good and his dancing was good. I spoke to him about Blake and tried to get him to sing [William] Blake's The Grey Monk, to use his words as lyrics. He didn't do it. In the end, I did it myself.

  • I saw the best minds of my generation who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks fell on their heads every day for the next decade.

  • The best thing about being famous is that it makes it easier to get laid.

  • I want to be a saint, a real saint while I am young, for there is so much work to do.