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Best Famous Allen Ginsberg Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Allen Ginsberg poems. This is a select list of the best famous Allen Ginsberg poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Allen Ginsberg poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Allen Ginsberg poems.

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by Allen Ginsberg | |

Complaint of the Skeleton to Time

Take my love, it is not true,
So let it tempt no body new;
Take my lady, she will sigh
For my bed where'er I lie;
Take them, said the skeleton,

But leave my bones alone.
Take my raiment, now grown cold, To give to some poor poet old; Take the skin that hoods this truth If his age would wear my youth; Take them, said the skeleton, But leave my bones alone.
Take the thoughts that like the wind Blow my body out of mind; Take this heart to go with that And pass it on from rat to rat; Take them, said the skeleton, But leave my bones alone.
Take the art which I bemoan In a poem's crazy tone; Grind me down, though I may groan, To the starkest stick and stone; Take them, said the skeleton, But leave my bones alone.


by Allen Ginsberg | |

Wild Orphan

Blandly mother 
takes him strolling 
by railroad and by river 
-he's the son of the absconded 
hot rod angel- 
and he imagines cars 
and rides them in his dreams, 

so lonely growing up among 
the imaginary automobiles 
and dead souls of Tarrytown 

to create 
out of his own imagination 
the beauty of his wild 
forebears-a mythology 
he cannot inherit.
Will he later hallucinate his gods? Waking among mysteries with an insane gleam of recollection? The recognition- something so rare in his soul, met only in dreams -nostalgias of another life.
A question of the soul.
And the injured losing their injury in their innocence -a cock, a cross, an excellence of love.
And the father grieves in flophouse complexities of memory a thousand miles away, unknowing of the unexpected youthful stranger bumming toward his door.
- New York, April 13, 1952


by Allen Ginsberg | |

In The Back of the Real

railroad yard in San Jose 
I wandered desolate 
in front of a tank factory 
and sat on a bench 
near the switchman's shack.
A flower lay on the hay on the asphalt highway --the dread hay flower I thought--It had a brittle black stem and corolla of yellowish dirty spikes like Jesus' inchlong crown, and a soiled dry center cotton tuft like a used shaving brush that's been lying under the garage for a year.
Yellow, yellow flower, and flower of industry, tough spiky ugly flower, flower nonetheless, with the form of the great yellow Rose in your brain! This is the flower of the World.


by Allen Ginsberg | |

Who Runs America?

Oil brown smog over Denver 
Oil red dung colored smoke 
level to level across the horizon 

blue tainted sky above 
Oil car smog gasoline 
hazing red Denver's day 

December bare trees 

sticking up from housetop streets 

Plane lands rumbling, planes rise over 

radar wheels, black smoke 

drifts from tailfins 

Oil millions of cars speeding the cracked plains 
Oil from Texas, Bahrein, Venezuela Mexico 
Oil that turns General Motors 

revs up Ford 
lights up General Electric, oil that crackles 

thru International Business Machine computers, 

charges dynamos for ITT 
sparks Western 
Electric 

runs thru Amer Telephone & Telegraph wires 

Oil that flows thru Exxon New Jersey hoses, 
rings in Mobil gas tank cranks, rumbles 

Chrysler engines 

shoots thru Texaco pipelines 

blackens ocean from broken Gulf tankers 
spills onto Santa Barbara beaches from 

Standard of California derricks offshore.


by Allen Ginsberg | |

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.


by Allen Ginsberg | |

An Eastern Ballad

 I speak of love that comes to mind:
The moon is faithful, although blind;
She moves in thought she cannot speak.
Perfect care has made her bleak.
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.


by Allen Ginsberg | |

Refrain

 The air is dark, the night is sad,
I lie sleepless and I groan.
Nobody cares when a man goes mad: He is sorry, God is glad.
Shadow changes into bone.
Every shadow has a name; When I think of mine I moan, I hear rumors of such fame.
Not for pride, but only shame, Shadow changes into bone.
When I blush I weep for joy, And laughter drops from me like a stone: The aging laughter of the boy To see the ageless dead so coy.
Shadow changes into bone.


by Allen Ginsberg | |

Kissass

 Kissass is the Part of Peace
America will have to Kissass Mother Earth
Whites have to Kissass Blacks, for Peace & Pleasure,
Only Pathway to Peace, Kissass.


by Allen Ginsberg | |

Father Death Blues (Dont Grow Old Part V)

 Hey Father Death, I'm flying home
Hey poor man, you're all alone
Hey old daddy, I know where I'm going

Father Death, Don't cry any more
Mama's there, underneath the floor
Brother Death, please mind the store

Old Aunty Death Don't hide your bones
Old Uncle Death I hear your groans
O Sister Death how sweet your moans

O Children Deaths go breathe your breaths
Sobbing breasts'll ease your Deaths
Pain is gone, tears take the rest

Genius Death your art is done
Lover Death your body's gone
Father Death I'm coming home

Guru Death your words are true
Teacher Death I do thank you
For inspiring me to sing this Blues

Buddha Death, I wake with you
Dharma Death, your mind is new
Sangha Death, we'll work it through

Suffering is what was born
Ignorance made me forlorn
Tearful truths I cannot scorn

Father Breath once more farewell
Birth you gave was no thing ill
My heart is still, as time will tell.
July 8, 1976 (Over Lake Michigan)


by Allen Ginsberg | |

In Back Of The Real

 railroad yard in San Jose 
 I wandered desolate 
in front of a tank factory 
 and sat on a bench 
near the switchman's shack.
A flower lay on the hay on the asphalt highway --the dread hay flower I thought--It had a brittle black stem and corolla of yellowish dirty spikes like Jesus' inchlong crown, and a soiled dry center cotton tuft like a used shaving brush that's been lying under the garage for a year.
Yellow, yellow flower, and flower of industry, tough spiky ugly flower, flower nonetheless, with the form of the great yellow Rose in your brain! This is the flower of the World.
San Jose, 1954


by Allen Ginsberg | |

A Desolation

 Now mind is clear
as a cloudless sky.
Time then to make a home in wilderness.
What have I done but wander with my eyes in the trees? So I will build: wife, family, and seek for neighbors.
Or I perish of lonesomeness or want of food or lightning or the bear (must tame the hart and wear the bear).
And maybe make an image of my wandering, a little image—shrine by the roadside to signify to traveler that I live here in the wilderness awake and at home.


by Allen Ginsberg | |

First Party At Ken Keseys With Hells Angels

 Cool black night thru redwoods
cars parked outside in shade
behind the gate, stars dim above
the ravine, a fire burning by the side
porch and a few tired souls hunched over
in black leather jackets.
In the huge wooden house, a yellow chandelier at 3 A.
M.
the blast of loudspeakers hi-fi Rolling Stones Ray Charles Beatles Jumping Joe Jackson and twenty youths dancing to the vibration thru the floor, a little weed in the bathroom, girls in scarlet tights, one muscular smooth skinned man sweating dancing for hours, beer cans bent littering the yard, a hanged man sculpture dangling from a high creek branch, children sleeping softly in their bedroom bunks.
And 4 police cars parked outside the painted gate, red lights revolving in the leaves.
December 1965


by Allen Ginsberg | |

Fourth Floor Dawn Up All Night Writing Letters

 Pigeons shake their wings on the copper church roof
out my window across the street, a bird perched on the cross
surveys the city's blue-grey clouds.
Larry Rivers 'll come at 10 AM and take my picture.
I'm taking your picture, pigeons.
I'm writing you down, Dawn.
I'm immortalizing your exhaust, Avenue A bus.
O Thought! Now you'll have to think the same thing forever! New York, June 7, 1980, 6:48 A.
M.


by Allen Ginsberg | |

Making The Lion For All Its Got -- A Ballad

 I came home and found a lion in my room.
.
.
[First draft of "The Lion for Real" CP 174-175] A lion met America in the road they stared at each other two figures on the crossroads in the desert.
America screamed The lion roared They leaped at each other America desperate to win Fighting with bombs, flamethrowers, knives forks submarines.
The lion ate America, bit off her head and loped off to the golden hills that's all there is to say about america except that now she's lionshit all over the desert.


by Allen Ginsberg | |

An Asphodel

 O dear sweet rosy 
 unattainable desire 
.
.
.
how sad, no way to change the mad cultivated asphodel, the visible reality.
.
.
and skin's appalling petals--how inspired to be so Iying in the living room drunk naked and dreaming, in the absence of electricity.
.
.
over and over eating the low root of the asphodel, gray fate.
.
.
rolling in generation on the flowery couch as on a bank in Arden-- my only rose tonite's the treat of my own nudity.
Fall, 1953


by Allen Ginsberg | |

136 Syllables At Rocky Mountain Dharma Center

 Tail turned to red sunset on a juniper crown a lone magpie cawks.
Mad at Oryoki in the shrine-room -- Thistles blossomed late afternoon.
Put on my shirt and took it off in the sun walking the path to lunch.
A dandelion seed floats above the marsh grass with the mosquitos.
At 4 A.
M.
the two middleaged men sleeping together holding hands.
In the half-light of dawn a few birds warble under the Pleiades.
Sky reddens behind fir trees, larks twitter, sparrows cheep cheep cheep cheep cheep.
July 1983 Caught shoplifting ran out the department store at sunrise and woke up.
August 1983


by Allen Ginsberg | |

Sphincter

 I hope my good old asshole holds out
60 years it's been mostly OK
Tho in Bolivia a fissure operation
 survived the altiplano hospital-- 
a little blood, no polyps, occasionally
a small hemorrhoid
active, eager, receptive to phallus
 coke bottle, candle, carrot
 banana & fingers -
Now AIDS makes it shy, but still
 eager to serve -
out with the dumps, in with the condom'd
 orgasmic friend -
still rubbery muscular,
unashamed wide open for joy
But another 20 years who knows,
 old folks got troubles everywhere - 
necks, prostates, stomachs, joints--
 Hope the old hole stays young
 till death, relax

 March 15, 1986, 1:00 PM


by Allen Ginsberg | |

Those Two

 That tree said
 I don't like that white car under me,
 it smells gasoline
That other tree next to it said
 O you're always complaining
 you're a neurotic
 you can see by the way you're bent over.
July 6, 1981, 8 p.
m.


by David Lehman | |

May 8

 700 francs will get you $109.
91 on this muggy May afternoon which is good to know since I just found 700 francs in my wallet while Dinah Washington was singing "My Old Flame" I was thinking of where I was with Glen when Allen Ginsberg died and if I could relax for one hour if I knew what that felt like it would seem like a very long time to me so I'll have to settle for the next best thing warm rain on a cool May evening on Charles Street, turn left on West 4th, cross Sixth and turn right on MacDougal quick: make a sentence that has Spike Lee Son of Sam and Leonardo di Caprio in it Bob Dole says Viagra is a great drug that's the news, the weather I've already given you, and then I want to go into the bedroom and find your naked body in my bed you've stayed up waiting for me and I'm going to make it worth your while


by Barry Tebb | |

LETTER TO MICHAEL HOROVITZ

 It is time after thirty years

We had our Poetry Renaissance

Rise, Children of Albion, rise!

It is time after nightmares of sleep

When we walked the streets of inner cities

Our poems among the burnt-out houses

And cars, whispering compassion

To the addicts shaking and the homeless

Waking and those who have come apart

In the nowhere of today

Begging in stations

Sleeping in boxes.
It is time to find Our lost, those children I taught three decades ago To paint on ceilings With sticks of incense Rainbows of silence For John Cage To write on walls In luminous paint Pink haiku For Allen Ginsberg.
It is time to awaken and emblazon the sky With symphonies of sorrow, To draft the articles of war.
Poets of the Underground The doors have opened The ghost of Walt Whitman Grey-bearded, in lonely anguish Walks with us.