This is the first of my quotes for today:
Well Allen Ginsberg opened my mind to poetry.
Before he came along poetry for me was simply for boring old people. It was daft and lifeless. It had no relevance to my life.
Then Howl came along.
‘I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,’
I was about seventeen and it opened my mind like a knife. Poetry could be aimed at me. It was relevant. It was hip and it meant something.
I could identify with those young men who had rejected all that this miserable society had to offer with its concrete, mown lawns, car washing status symbols, war, pseudo-religion, hypocrisy and plastic. They were prepared to starve and even kill themselves seeking something real and meaningful. They wanted life rather than slow death, art rather than entertainment, kicks rather than passivity.
I could dig that.
That’s how I felt.
Howl brought me alive!