10 Great Quotes About Poetry and Writing by Allen Ginsberg

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“A poem is like a radio that can broadcast continuously for thousands of years.”

“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.”

“To gain your own voice you have to forget about having it heard.”

“I have a new method of poetry. All you got to do is look over your notebooks… or lay down on a couch, and think of anything that comes into your head, especially the miseries. Then arrange in lines of two, three or four words each, don’t bother about sentences, in sections of two, three or four lines each.”

“Poetry’s role is to provide spontaneous individual candor as distinct from manipulation and brainwash.”

“One must verge on the unknown, write toward the truth hitherto unrecognizable of one’s own sincerity, including the avoidable beauty of doom, shame, and embarrassment, that very area of personal self-recognition,(detailed individual is universal remember) which formal conventions, internalized, keep us from discovering in ourselves and others.”

“There should be no distinction between what we write down, and what we really know.”

“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 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 mind. You 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.”

“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.”

-Allen Ginsberg

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