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Song - Poem by Allen Ginsberg

Song Poem [1954] by Allen Ginsberg | Poem Hunter

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

the weight,
the weight we carry
is love.

Who can deny?
In dreams
it touches
the body,
in thought
a miracle,
in imagination
till born
in human--
looks out of the heart
burning with purity--
for the burden of life
is love,

but we carry the weight
and so must rest
in the arms of love
at last,
must rest in the arms
of love.

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

--must give
for no return
as thought
is given
in solitude
in all the excellence
of its excess.

The warm bodies
shine together
in the darkness,
the hand moves
to the center
of the flesh,
the skin trembles
in happiness
and the soul comes
joyful to the eye--

yes, yes,
that's what
I wanted,
I always wanted,
I always wanted,
to return
to the body
where I was born.
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the allen ginsberg project

a founder of the beat generation

Arriving in New York City in 1944 to study at Columbia University, young Allen Ginsberg formed a close friendship with then-unknowns Jack Kerouac, Jack’s friend Neal Cassady and two legendary Times Square junkie outlaws, wise from their time on the streets, William S Burroughs and Herbert Huncke. These relationships eventually flowered into the original literary movement known as the Beat Generation.

Read more about: Peter Orlovsky, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, Diane di Prima, Michael McClure, Philip Whalen, Joanne Kyger, Lew Welch, Philip Lamantia, Bob Kaufman, Ray Bremser and Ted Joans.

a modern american poet

Ginsberg’s groundbreaking performance of “Howl” in 1955 in San Francisco began an epic career that would eventually place this poet in the lineage of his hero and great “courage teacher” Walt Whitman and advance (following upon the work of Edgar Allan Poe, Hart Crane, Ezra Pound and, most notably, William Carlos Williams) the development of a specifically American vernacular in poetry.

Read more about: Imagism, Objectivism, Vachel Lindsay, Marsden Hartley, Gertrude Stein, E.E. Cummings, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Robert Lowell, Robert Bly, Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, Robert Duncan, Charles Olson, John Wieners, Frank O’Hara, Kenneth Koch and John Ashbery.

an international poet

New Jersey-born Allen Ginsberg reached far beyond the American tradition with his vibrant life in poetry, bridging literary connections with past and present, recognizing the inter-relatedness of poetry and poetics from around the world.

Read more about: Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine, Guillaume Apollinaire, Andre Breton, Antonin Artaud, Henri Michaux, Louis-Ferdinand Celine, Basil Bunting, W.H. Auden, W. B. Yeats, Dylan Thomas, Federico Garcia Lorca, Pablo Neruda, Fernando Pessoa, Nanao Sakaki, Anna Akhmatova, Osip Mandelstam, Yevgeny Yevtushenko and Vladimir Mayakovsky.

a radical activist

Allen Ginsberg was an outspoken voice for human rights, gay liberation, freedom of speech and ecology. The most politically-engaged poet of the 20th century, he protested against the Vietnam War, nuclear weapons, sexual repression, censorship, corporate abuses, draconian drug laws, the FBI and the CIA, and spoke out for a new vision of peaceful coexistence that helped define the ideals of the 1960s and beyond.

Read more about: Moloch, Abbie Hoffman, Amiri Baraka, Ed Sanders, Anne Waldman, Amy Goodman, Bernie Sanders, David Dellinger, Daniel Berrigan, Ken Kesey, Timothy Leary and Lenny Bruce.

a global provocateur

Allen Ginsberg made big waves on the global shttps://allenginsberg.org/tage from the 1960s until his death in 1997. He visited Cuba at the height of US/Cuba tensions and was crowned Kral Majales (King of May) in Prague during a key moment of the Soviet Union/Czech crisis, in 1967. Throughout his life, he championed dissidents and victims of persecution wherever and whenever he encountered them.

Read more about: India, Australia, Latin America, Tibet, China, Hungary and Poland.

a teacher and scholar

Allen Ginsberg taught at Naropa University and at Brooklyn College, where he pursued intellectual interests and delivered fascinating and original lectures on a surprising variety of literary topics. Many of these lectures are transcribed in full on this website.

Read more about: Sappho, Catullus, John Dowland, Sir Thomas Wyatt, William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, John Milton, John Donne, Christopher Smart, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, William Wordsworth and William Blake.

a spiritual thinker

A focus on spirituality and religion has been a unique aspect of the work of Allen Ginsberg, from the Judaism of his herihttps://allenginsberg.org/tage to the Hinduism (Hare Krishna) discovered in his classic sojourn in India, to the Zen, and subsequently Tibetan, Buddhism and Meditation practice that he later became devoted to.

Read more about: D.T. Suzuki,Shunryu Suzuki,A.C. Prabhupada, Ram Dass, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Gelek Rimpoche.

a musician, artist and photographer

As a singer, songwriter and performing artist, Allen Ginsberg collaborated with, performed with, or was inspired by, a wide range of musicians, in a number of genres, among them David Amram, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith and Philip Glass.

Read more about: Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Pete Seeger, Paul McCartney, Joe Strummer, Steven Taylor, Harry Smith, Nam June Paik, Francesco Clemente, George Condo, Eric Drooker, Elsa Dorfman and Robert Frank.

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