Irwin Allen Ginsberg

June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997

Type = ArtScans Monochrome : Gamma = 1.6

Place of birth: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Best thing about him: An important American poet and leading member of the Beat Generation of the 1950s and counterculture
Most important work: Howl
Interesting facts:

  • For decades he protested non-violently about a variety of political issues
  • He was friends with many famous literaries and artists of his time, namely Denise Levertov, Bob Dylan, Frank O’Hara, Jack Kerouac and many others. His mentor was another important figure of American poetry, William Carlos Williams
  • He was a Buddhist, as well as strongly opposed to militarism, sexual repression and economic materialism


20 beautiful Allen Ginsberg quotes:

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

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

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

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

5.”America, how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?”


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

7.”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.”

8.”The only thing that can save the world is the reclaiming of the awareness of the world. That’s what poetry does.”

9.”America, I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.”

10.”Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.”

11.”It isn’t enough for your heart to break because everybody’s heart is broken now.”

12.”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.”


13.”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.”

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

15.”Our heads are round so thought can change direction.”

16.”Ultimately Warhol’s private moral reference was to the supreme kitsch of the Catholic church.”

17.”America I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.”

18.”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.”

19.”I don’t think there is any truth. There are only points of view.”