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Quotes of the day: Allen Ginsberg

Published Monday, June 03, 2013 @ 1:43 AM EDT
Jun 03 2013

Irwin Allen Ginsberg (June 3, 1926 - April 5, 1997) was an American poet and one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation in the 1950s. He vigorously opposed militarism, economic materialism and sexual repression. Ginsberg is best known for his epic poem "Howl", in which he denounced what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States.


1. You can't win. 2. You can't break even. 3. You can't even get out of the game.

Candor disarms paranoia.

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.

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

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

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.

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

It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts factories, I'm nearsighted and psychopathic anyway. America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.

My own experience is that a certain kind of genius among students is best brought out in bed.

Nobody knows whether we were catalysts or invented something, or just the froth riding on a wave of its own. We were all three, I suppose.

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.

Our heads are round so thought can change direction.

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.

Poets are Damned... but See with the Eyes of Angels.

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

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

There is a very famous saying among Tibetan Buddhists: "If the student is not better than the teacher, then the teacher is a failure."

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

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

We are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter.

Well, while I'm here I'll do the work- and what's the work? To ease the pain of living.

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

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

What if someone gave a war and Nobody came? Life would ring the bells of Ecstasy and Forever be Itself again.


What if they gave a war and nobody came?
Why, then, the war would come to you!
-Bertolt Brecht

Categories: Allen Ginsberg, Quotes of the day


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