Friday, June 12, 2009

Where are we going Walt Whitman? The doors close in an hour. Which way does your beard point tonight?

Today I started reading "Howl" and other selected poems by Allen Ginsberg. Actually, so far I've only gotten to the selected poems because I feel like Howl needs some context to be really understood. I loved "California Supermarket" and "America" as well as this poem. It feels like it should be read with bongo drums or in a loud expressive voice. Seems fitting, since Ginsberg was part of the Beat Generation.


The weight of the world
is love.
Under the burden
of dissatisfaction.

the weight,
the weight we carry
is love.

Who can deny?
In dreams
it touches
the body,
in thought
a miracle,
in imagination
till born
in human--

looks out of the heart
burning with purity--
for the burden of life
is love,

but we carry the weight
and so must rest
in the arms if love
at last,
must rest in the arms
of love.

No rest
without love,
no sleep
without dreams
of love--
be mad or chill
obsessed with angels
or machines,
a final wish
is love
--cannot be bitter,
cannot deny,
cannot withhold
if denied:

the weight is too heavy

that's what
I wanted,
I always wanted,
I always wanted,
to return
to the body
where I was born.

It also reminds me of a moment I've been thinking about a lot lately. In an interview with my bishop many years ago, he deviated from the usual questions and asked me what one word that would describe the gospel. I chose "love" and I still stand by it.

1 comment:

Alyssa said...

which do you choose; weight or lightness?

read unbearable lightness of being. It embodies this poem