Footnote to Howl

By Allen Ginsberg 1926–1997 Allen Ginsberg
Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!
The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy! The nose is holy! The tongue and cock and hand and asshole holy!
Everything is holy! everybody’s holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman’s an angel!
The bum’s as holy as the seraphim! the madman is holy as you my soul are holy!
The typewriter is holy the poem is holy the voice is holy the hearers are holy the ecstasy is holy!
Holy Peter holy Allen holy Solomon holy Lucien holy Kerouac holy Huncke holy Burroughs holy Cassady holy the unknown buggered and suffering beggars holy the hideous human angels!
Holy my mother in the insane asylum! Holy the cocks of the grandfathers of Kansas!
Holy the groaning saxophone! Holy the bop apocalypse! Holy the jazzbands marijuana hipsters peace peyote pipes & drums!
Holy the solitudes of skyscrapers and pavements! Holy the cafeterias filled with the millions! Holy the mysterious rivers of tears under the streets!
Holy the lone juggernaut! Holy the vast lamb of the middleclass! Holy the crazy shepherds of rebellion! Who digs Los Angeles IS Los Angeles!
Holy New York Holy San Francisco Holy Peoria & Seattle Holy Paris Holy Tangiers Holy Moscow Holy Istanbul!
Holy time in eternity holy eternity in time holy the clocks in space holy the fourth dimension holy the fifth International holy the Angel in Moloch!
Holy the sea holy the desert holy the railroad holy the locomotive holy the visions holy the hallucinations holy the miracles holy the eyeball holy the abyss!
Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours! bodies! suffering! magnanimity!
Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!
 
 
                                                                                                            Berkeley 1955

Allen Ginsberg, “Footnote to Howl” from Collected Poems 1947-1980. Copyright © 1988 by Allen Ginsberg. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

Source: Collected Poems: 1947-1980 (Harper & Row, 1984)

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Poet Allen Ginsberg 1926–1997

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

Subjects Living, The Body, The Mind, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Religion, The Spiritual, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture, Love

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Allen  Ginsberg

Biography

One of the most respected Beat writers and acclaimed American poets of his generation, Allen Ginsberg enjoys a prominent place in post-World War II American culture. He was born in 1926 in Newark, New Jersey, and raised in nearby Paterson. The son of an English teacher and Russian expatriate, Ginsberg’s early life was marked by his mother’s psychological troubles, including a series of nervous breakdowns. In 1943, while studying . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Body, The Mind, Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Religion, The Spiritual, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture, Love

SCHOOL / PERIOD Beat

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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