Sunday, 20 February 2011


Considering I said I was awful at poetry and that I didn't like it very much I seem to be posting a lot of poems! This piece was actually from my poetry module and was our first task of the term. We had to read through the poem Howl by Allen Ginsburg, here are the first couple of lines:

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,
who passed through universities with radiant eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,
who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,
who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall,

So what we had to do was choose some of our favourite lines and incorporate them into our own new poem about today's society. Our lecturer told us how it's okay to borrow lines and phrases as this is what really makes up poetry and has inspired many poets. This kind of reminded me of the 'Cut Ups' we did in Creativity. I thought this task would be hard but in the end it was quite simple and I am really pleased with the last two lines, I'll put Ginsburg's words in italic:

To hear the crack of doom on the hydrogen jukebox
Is to know the end is near
And though they try to fight it
No mighty one will appear

The nowadays are the broken bodies of their past
The future is naked
Trembling before the machinery of other skeletons
Twisting and grinding and squealing
Soon to be halting

Trying to repair these wrongs is a futile task
Jesters snip the intellectual golden threads on a craftsman’s loom
Nothing can stop the onslaught of this bitterness
It follows through mornings, nights, and noons

It continues along the floor and down the hall
Until even the secure lock of tomorrow’s door is picked

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