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Allen Ginsbergwas one of the greatest of American poets in my opinion. Ginsberg's poetry was/is infamous for its lashing out against the government, its drug influences, and sometimes explicit content. The building responsible for printing one of his books ("Howl and Other Poems") was actually seized by the government during the obscenity trials that gave Ginsberg a massive amount of publicity in the 1950's. Of course not all of his poetry was controversial, some was actually quite "conventional." I think his work is definitely worth sharing...


Some of my personal favorites:




If I were doing my Laundry I'd wash my dirty Iran

I'd throw in my United States, and pour on the Ivory Soap,

scrub up Africa, put all the birds and elephants back in

the jungle,

I'd wash the Amazon river and clean the oily Carib & Gulf of Mexico,

Rub that smog off the North Pole, wipe up all the pipelines in Alaska,

Rub a dub dub for Rocky Flats and Los Alamos, Flush that sparkly

Cesium out of Love Canal

Rinse down the Acid Rain over the Parthenon & Sphinx, Drain the Sludge

out of the Mediterranean basin & make it azure again,

Put some blueing back into the sky over the Rhine, bleach the little

Clouds so snow return white as snow,

Cleanse the Hudson Thames & Neckar, Drain the Suds out of Lake Erie

Then I'd throw big Asia in one giant Load & wash out the blood &

Agent Orange,

Dump the whole mess of Russia and China in the wringer, squeeze out

the tattletail Gray of U.S. Central American police state,

& put the planet in the drier & let it sit 20 minutes or an

Aeon till it came out clean



A Western Ballad


When I died, love, when I died

my heart was broken in your care;

I never suffered love so fair

as now I suffer and abide

when I died, love, when I died.


When I died, love, when I died

I wearied in an endless maze

that men have walked for centuries,

as endless as the gate was wide

when I died, love, when I died.


When I died, love, when I died

there was a war in the upper air:

all that happens, happens there;

there was an angel by my side

when I died, love, when I died.




Ode to the Setting Sun


The wrathful East of smoke and iron

Crowded in a broken crown;

The Archer of the Jersey mire

Naked in a rusty gown;

Railroad creeping toward the fire

Where the carnal sun goes down.


Apollo's shining chariot's shadow

Shudders in the mortal bourn;

Amber shores upon the meadow

Where Phaëthon falls forlorn

Fade in somber chiaroscuro,

Phantoms of the burning morn.


Westward to the world's blind gaze,

In funeral of raining cloud,

The motionles cold Heavens blaze,

BOrn out of a dying crowd;

Daybreak in the end of days,

Bloody light beneath the shroud.


In vault dominion of the night

The hosts of prophecy convene,

Till, empire of the lark alight,

Their bodies waken as we dream,

And put our raiment on, and bright

Crown, still haloed though unseen.


Under the earth there is an eye

Open in a sightless cave,

And the skull in Eternity

Bares indifference to the grave:

Earth turns, and the day must die,

And the sea accepts the wave.


My bones are carried on the train

Westward where the sun has gone;

Night has darkened in the rain,

And the rainbow day is done;

Cities age upon the plain

And smoke rolls upward out of stone

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