- Birthday, Books, Quotes, Reading, Writing

Allen Ginsberg on Poetry, Voice, Democracy, and More.

 

Happy birthday, Allen Ginsberg! Here are some quotes from his writing:

 

“You say what you want to say when you don’t care who’s listening.”

 

“To gain your own voice, forget about having it heard. Become a saint of your own province and your own consciousness.”

 

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

 

“The war is language,
language abused
for Advertisement,
language used
like magic for power on the planet.”

 

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

 

“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.”

 

“Concentrate on what you want to say to yourself and your friends. Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness. You say what you want to say when you don’t care who’s listening.”

 

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

 

“Whoever controls the media—the images—controls the culture.”

 

“The only thing that can save the world is the reclaiming of the awareness of the world. That’s what poetry does. By poetry I mean the imagining of what has been lost and what can be found—the imagining of who we are and the slow realization of it.”

 

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John Madera is the author of Nervosities (Anti-Oedipus Press, 2024). His other fiction is published in Conjunctions, Salt Hill, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His nonfiction is published in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, New York State Council on the Arts awardee John Madera lives in New York City, Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

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