Tag Archives: ginsberg

Book Review: Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg

“…angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night…”

I recently read Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg.  Yes, I realize that beat poets get parodied and poetry slammers get mocked, sometimes for good reason.  I’ve been to poetry slams, and when it’s good it’s good; but when it’s bad it’s awful.

Still, the reach of beats is long and deep both inside and outside the realm of modern poetry.  It influenced protest music in the 60’s and 70’s and later helped shape rap.  I had been meaning to read Ginsberg’s Howl for a long time — knowing I couldn’t say I knew anything about modern poetry without reading this giant — but somehow I never got around to it.

So glad I didn’t put it off any longer.  Howl and Other Poems is called a masterpiece and its justified.  If you haven’t read it, do so as soon as possible.


A Few of my Favorite Quotes


You’re a Mystic? What’s That?

My fiction contains mystic themes, my martial art promotes a mystic’s mindset and my love of the environment stems from the experience of divinity through the window of the natural world.

What’s mysticism?

First of all, Pythagoras, Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint John of the Cross, Brave New World author Aldous Huxley, Beatles musician George Harrison, psychologist Carl Jung, author of the definitive work on the subject of mysticism Evelyn Underhill and most of the poets who ever lived, were all mystics.

That’s what I call good company.

Simply put, a mystic is someone in pursuit of a direct connection with the Divine.  According to the 1911 Britannica, mysticism is

“the endeavour of the human mind to grasp the divine essence or the ultimate reality of things, and to enjoy the blessedness of actual communion with the Highest.”

Some people call themselves mystics and give mysticism a bad name by making  outrageous claims, like being able to levitate or go months without eating or drinking.

That’s not mysticism.

Mysticism is about seeing, perceiving, experiencing, and perhaps communicating, with the Divine.