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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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Written by Allen Ginsberg |

Hospital Window

At gauzy dusk, thin haze like cigarette smoke 
ribbons past Chrysler Building's silver fins 
tapering delicately needletopped, Empire State's 
taller antenna filmed milky lit amid blocks 
black and white apartmenting veil'd sky over Manhattan, 
offices new built dark glassed in blueish heaven--The East 
50's & 60's covered with castles & watertowers, seven storied 
tar-topped house-banks over York Avenue, late may-green trees 
surrounding Rockefellers' blue domed medical arbor-- 
Geodesic science at the waters edge--Cars running up 
East River Drive, & parked at N.
Hospital's oval door where perfect tulips flower the health of a thousand sick souls trembling inside hospital rooms.
Triboro bridge steel-spiked penthouse orange roofs, sunset tinges the river and in a few Bronx windows, some magnesium vapor brilliances're spotted five floors above E 59th St under grey painted bridge trestles.
Way downstream along the river, as Monet saw Thames 100 years ago, Con Edison smokestacks 14th street, & Brooklyn Bridge's skeined dim in modern mists-- Pipes sticking up to sky nine smokestacks huge visible-- U.
Building hangs under an orange crane, & red lights on vertical avenues below the trees turn green at the nod of a skull with a mild nerve ache.
Dim dharma, I return to this spectacle after weeks of poisoned lassitude, my thighs belly chest & arms covered with poxied welts, head pains fading back of the neck, right eyebrow cheek mouth paralyzed--from taking the wrong medicine, sweated too much in the forehead helpless, covered my rage from gorge to prostate with grinding jaw and tightening anus not released the weeping scream of horror at robot Mayaguez World self ton billions metal grief unloaded Pnom Penh to Nakon Thanom, Santiago & Tehran.
Fresh warm breeze in the window, day's release >from pain, cars float downside the bridge trestle and uncounted building-wall windows multiplied a mile deep into ash-delicate sky beguile my empty mind.
A seagull passes alone wings spread silent over roofs.
- May 20, 1975 Mayaguez Crisis

Written 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

Written 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.

More great poems below...

Written by Allen Ginsberg |

Haiku (Never Published)

 Drinking my tea
Without sugar-
 No difference.
The sparrow shits upside down --ah! my brain & eggs Mayan head in a Pacific driftwood bole --Someday I'll live in N.
Looking over my shoulder my behind was covered with cherry blossoms.
Winter Haiku I didn't know the names of the flowers--now my garden is gone.
I slapped the mosquito and missed.
What made me do that? Reading haiku I am unhappy, longing for the Nameless.
A frog floating in the drugstore jar: summer rain on grey pavements.
(after Shiki) On the porch in my shorts; auto lights in the rain.
Another year has past-the world is no different.
The first thing I looked for in my old garden was The Cherry Tree.
My old desk: the first thing I looked for in my house.
My early journal: the first thing I found in my old desk.
My mother's ghost: the first thing I found in the living room.
I quit shaving but the eyes that glanced at me remained in the mirror.
The madman emerges from the movies: the street at lunchtime.
Cities of boys are in their graves, and in this town.
Lying on my side in the void: the breath in my nose.
On the fifteenth floor the dog chews a bone- Screech of taxicabs.
A hardon in New York, a boy in San Fransisco.
The moon over the roof, worms in the garden.
I rent this house.
[Haiku composed in the backyard cottage at 1624 Milvia Street, Berkeley 1955, while reading R.
Blyth's 4 volumes, "Haiku.

Written by Allen Ginsberg |

A Supermarket in California

What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whit- 
man, for I walked down the sidestreets under the trees 
with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations! What peaches and what penumbras! Whole fam- ilies shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!--and you, Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons? I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel? I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you, and followed in my imagination by the store detective.
We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier.
Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in an hour.
Which way does your beard point tonight? (I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.
) Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we'll both be lonely.
Will we stroll dreaming ofthe lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage? Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage- teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe?

Written by Allen Ginsberg |


 Homage Kenneth Koch

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.
Central American police state, & put the planet in the drier & let it sit 20 minutes or an Aeon till it came out clean

Written 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.

Written 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 

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.

Written by Allen Ginsberg |

Crossing Nation

 Under silver wing
 San Francisco's towers sprouting
 thru thin gas clouds,
 Tamalpais black-breasted above Pacific azure
 Berkeley hills pine-covered below--
Dr Leary in his brown house scribing Independence
 typewriter at window
 silver panorama in natural eyeball--

Sacramento valley rivercourse's Chinese 
 dragonflames licking green flats north-hazed
 State Capitol metallic rubble, dry checkered fields
 to Sierras- past Reno, Pyramid Lake's 
 blue Altar, pure water in Nevada sands' 
 brown wasteland scratched by tires

 Jerry Rubin arrested! Beaten, jailed,
 coccyx broken--
Leary out of action--"a public menace.
persons of tender years.
immature judgement.
pyschiatric examination.
" i.
Shut up or Else Loonybin or Slam Leroi on bum gun rap, $7,000 lawyer fees, years' negotiations-- SPOCK GUILTY headlined temporary, Joan Baez' paramour husband Dave Harris to Gaol Dylan silent on politics, & safe-- having a baby, a man-- Cleaver shot at, jail'd, maddened, parole revoked, Vietnam War flesh-heap grows higher, blood splashing down the mountains of bodies on to Cholon's sidewalks-- Blond boys in airplane seats fed technicolor Murderers advance w/ Death-chords Earplugs in, steak on plastic served--Eyes up to the Image-- What do I have to lose if America falls? my body? my neck? my personality? June 19, 1968

Written by Allen Ginsberg |

Feb. 29 1958

 Last nite I dreamed of T.
Eliot welcoming me to the land of dream Sofas couches fog in England Tea in his digs Chelsea rainbows curtains on his windows, fog seeping in the chimney but a nice warm house and an incredibly sweet hooknosed Eliot he loved me, put me up, gave me a couch to sleep on, conversed kindly, took me serious asked my opinion on Mayakovsky I read him Corso Creeley Kerouac advised Burroughs Olson Huncke the bearded lady in the Zoo, the intelligent puma in Mexico City 6 chorus boys from Zanzibar who chanted in wornout polygot Swahili, and the rippling rythyms of Ma Rainey and Vachel Lindsay.
On the Isle of the Queen we had a long evening's conversation Then he tucked me in my long red underwear under a silken blanket by the fire on the sofa gave me English Hottie and went off sadly to his bed, Saying ah Ginsberg I am glad to have met a fine young man like you.
At last, I woke ashamed of myself.
Is he that good and kind? Am I that great? What's my motive dreaming his manna? What English Department would that impress? What failure to be perfect prophet's made up here? I dream of my kindness to T.
Eliot wanting to be a historical poet and share in his finance of Imagery- overambitious dream of eccentric boy.
God forbid my evil dreams come true.
Last nite I dreamed of Allen Ginsberg.
Eliot would've been ashamed of me.

Written 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.

Written by Allen Ginsberg |

Five A.M.

 Elan that lifts me above the clouds
into pure space, timeless, yea eternal
Breath transmuted into words
 Transmuted back to breath
 in one hundred two hundred years
nearly Immortal, Sappho's 26 centuries
of cadenced breathing -- beyond time, clocks, empires, bodies, cars,
chariots, rocket ships skyscrapers, Nation empires
brass walls, polished marble, Inca Artwork
of the mind -- but where's it come from?
Inspiration? The muses drawing breath for you? God?
Nah, don't believe it, you'll get entangled in Heaven or Hell --
Guilt power, that makes the heart beat wake all night
flooding mind with space, echoing through future cities, Megalopolis or
Cretan village, Zeus' birth cave Lassithi Plains -- Otsego County
 farmhouse, Kansas front porch?
Buddha's a help, promises ordinary mind no nirvana --
coffee, alcohol, cocaine, mushrooms, marijuana, laughing gas?
Nope, too heavy for this lightness lifts the brain into blue sky
at May dawn when birds start singing on East 12th street --
Where does it come from, where does it go forever?

 May 1996

Written by Allen Ginsberg |

Cosmopolitan Greetings

 To Struga Festival Golden Wreath Laureates
 & International Bards 1986

Stand up against governments, against God.
Stay irresponsible.
Say only what we know & imagine.
Absolutes are coercion.
Change is absolute.
Ordinary mind includes eternal perceptions.
Observe what's vivid.
Notice what you notice.
Catch yourself thinking.
Vividness is self-selecting.
If we don't show anyone, we're free to write anything.
Remember the future.
Advise only yourself.
Don't drink yourself to death.
Two molecules clanking against each other requires an observer to become scientific data.
The measuring instrument determines the appearance of the phenomenal world after Einstein.
The universe is subjective.
Walt Whitman celebrated Person.
We Are an observer, measuring instrument, eye, subject, Person.
Universe is person.
Inside skull vast as outside skull.
Mind is outer space.
"Each on his bed spoke to himself alone, making no sound.
" First thought, best thought.
Mind is shapely, Art is shapely.
Maximum information, minimum number of syllables.
Syntax condensed, sound is solid.
Intense fragments of spoken idiom, best.
Consonants around vowels make sense.
Savor vowels, appreciate consonants.
Subject is known by what she sees.
Others can measure their vision by what we see.
Candor ends paranoia.
Kral Majales June 25, 1986 Boulder, Colorado

Written 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.

Written by Barry Tebb |


 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.