allen ginsberg QuotesIrwin Allen Ginsberg was an American poet and writer. As a student at Columbia University in the 1940s, he began friendships with William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, forming the core of the Beat Generation.
The parts that embarrass you the most are usually the most interesting poetically, are usually the most naked of all, the rawest, the goofiest, the strangest and most eccentric and at the same time, most representative, most universal… That was something I earned from Kerouac, which was that spontaneous writing could be embarrassing… The cure for that is to write the thing down which you will not publish and which you won’t show people. To write secretly… so you can actually be free to say anything you want.
[William Butler] Yeats has the phrase Hodos Chameliontos, chameleon-like, in that you don’t know where the beginning or the middle or the end is, so it’s an unrelieved hallucination, because you don’t know where you’re coming in and you don’t know where you’re going out. It ends, you’re going into the hallucination, or maybe coming out of it, I don’t know.
It means abandoning being a poet, abandoning your careerism, abandoning even the idea of writing any poetry, really abandoning, giving up as hopeless – abandoning the possibility of really expressing yourself to the nations of the world. Abandoning the idea of being a prophet with honor and dignity, and abandoning the glory of poetry and just settling down in the muck of your own mindYou really have to make a resolution to write for yourself, in the sense of not writing to impress yourself, but just writing what your self is saying.