Subscribe: by Email | in Reader

A Vow -- Allen Ginsberg

Guest poem sent in by Aseem Kaul
(Poem #1223) A Vow
 I will haunt these States
 with beard bald head
 eyes staring out plane window
 hair hanging out in Greyhound bus midnight
 leaning over taxicab seat to admonish
 an angry cursing driver
 hand lifted to calm
 his outraged vehicle
 that I pass with the Green Light of common law.

 Common sense, Common law, common tenderness
 and common tranquility
 our means in America to control the money munching
 war machine, bright lit industry
 everywhere digesting forests & excreting soft pyramids
 of newsprint, Redwood and Ponderosa patriarchs
 silent in Meditation murdered & regurgitated as smoke,
 sawdust, screaming ceilings of Soap Opera,
 thick dead Lifes, slick Advertisements
 for Gubernatorial big guns
 burping Napalm on palm rice tropic greenery.

 Dynamite in forests,
 boughs fly slow motion
 thunder down ravine,
 Helicopters roar over National Park, Mekong swamp,
 Dynamite fire blasts thru Model Villages,
 Violence screams at Police, Mayors get mad over radio,
 Drop the Bomb on Niggers!
 drop Fire on the gook China
 Frankenstein Dragon
 waving its tail over Bayonne's domed Aluminium oil reservoir!

 I'll haunt these states all year
 gazing bleakly out train windows, blue airfield
 red TV network on evening plains,
 decoding radar Provincial editorial paper message,
 deciphering Iron Pipe laborer's curses as
 clanging hammers they raise steamshovel claws
 over Puerto Rican agony lawyers screams in slums.
-- Allen Ginsberg
Watching the images from Iraq on CNN this is the poem I keep coming
back to - not because it's my favourite war poem, but because it
expresses better than anything else this frustrated sense of rage I
feel for the arrogance of America. I love it because it brings out so
beautifully the contradiction, the hypocrisy at the heart of the
American way - the freedom it arrogates to itself and then, drunk on
its power, denies to others; the deliberate placidity of a world where
an angry taxi driver is the most dangerous thing you have to worry
about while the rest of the world burns to ashes to feed your
industries.

Ghost of Ginsberg, it's time.

Aseem Kaul

56 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Nick Hamilton said...

> Guest poem sent in by Aseem Kaul

I am not in agreement with the submitter. He has a right to be stupid, =
and I will fight to the death for that right. But, after all is said, =
he (or she) is still stupid.

Nick Hamilton

Patrick O'Dwyer said...

I am not in agreement with Mr. Hamilton

I do not think that Aseem Kaul is stupid

Nor do I think that Mr. Hamilton is stupid

I think that 41 million people without health insurance

in the worlds richest country is stupid,

I think that the promotion of Libya from the relegation zone

of evil countries after it signed an oil agreement

with Europe and America is stupid

I think that the destruction of Central America through

Dictatorships that were never a threat to Europe or America

was and is stupid

I think that the dismissal of anybody who criticises

America as anti American is stupid

I remember when we laughed at the Soviets

when they called their dissidents anti Soviet

I think that only criticising America and thinking

that Europe is always good is stupid

I think that George Bush and Henry Kissinger

are anti American

I think that Allen Ginsberg is a true American

I think that stupid is an ugly word

But I think that maybe I am the one who is stupid

Dan Pilkington said...

Ginsberg's poem makes me feel bad for the endangered forests of the earth. Such a haunting juxtapositioning of nature with the awesome self-destructiveness of man.

I feel bad for conscripted Iraqi soldiers who had no real choice in the matter, but feel even worse that the coalition forces couldn't take the time to protect the Baghdad Museum (5,000 years of human history) from looters.

To paraphrase Merwin, "when there are no relics, that will be our relic".

Acynta said...

>I feel bad for conscripted Iraqi soldiers who had no real choice in the
>matter, but feel even worse that the coalition forces couldn't take the
>time to protect the Baghdad Museum (5,000 years of human history) from
>looters.

This comment reminded me of an old Linda Pastan poem from my fifth grade
English class. I make no claims for its greatness, but it has stuck with me
over the years:

ETHICS

In ethics class so many years ago
our teacher asked this question every fall:
if there were a fire in a museum
which would you save, a Rembrandt painting
or an old woman who hadn't many
year left anyhow? Restless on hard chairs
caring little for picture or old age
we'd opt one year for life, the next for art
and always half-heartedly. Sometimes
the woman borrowed my grandmother's face
leaving her usual kitchen to wander
some drafty, half-imagined museum.
One year, feeling clever, I replied
why not let the woman decide herself?
Linda, the teacher would report, eschews
the burdens of responsibility.

This fall in a real museum I stand
before a real Rembrandt, old woman,
or nearly so, myself. The colors
within this frame are darker than autumn,
darker even than winter--the browns of earth,
though earth's most radiant elements burn
through the canvas. I know now that woman
and painting and season are almost one
and all beyond saving by children.

Having done some work in archaeology myself, I'm consistently moved by what's
survived millenia. Painted caskets and door handles and coins dropped on
roads. There's rarely any gold left - that's always plundered early on.
What's always seemed meaningful to me are the bits and pieces - a smashed
pithos with a metal scoop still inside; a paved floor in an anteroom; the
things with which humans construct their lives, rather than the things with
which we adorn them. Of course art is important, and so is history. But
people must always be more important, simply because there is no purpose to a
painting if there is no one to look at it.

Also I like this poem because it taught me the meaning of the word "eschew",
which went on to be a particular favorite.

carlynn

Benjamin A. Okopnik said...

Hi, Martin -

Aseem Kaul wrote:
> Watching the images from Iraq on CNN this is the poem I keep coming
> back to - not because it's my favourite war poem, but because it
> expresses better than anything else this frustrated sense of rage I
> feel for the arrogance of America. I love it because it brings out so
> beautifully the contradiction, the hypocrisy at the heart of the
> American way - the freedom it arrogates to itself and then, drunk on
> its power, denies to others; the deliberate placidity of a world where
> an angry taxi driver is the most dangerous thing you have to worry
> about while the rest of the world burns to ashes to feed your
> industries.
>
> Ghost of Ginsberg, it's time.

As opposed to this war as I am, I *REALLY* do not think that
anti-American ranting belongs on this list. Reading this, in this tense
time, was rather like discovering a drunken imbecile staggering around
with a torch in a powder magazine. I would certainly appreciate it if
you would extinguish his flame.

Regards,
Ben Okopnik
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
For every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards.
-- Jim Rohn

Patrick O'Dwyer said...

We have to watch what we say

So

I devised a rearview speech mirror

And affixed it to my skull

But no one wanted to talk with me

While I watched what I said

In despair I abandoned the act of speech

And devoted myself to a life of ..

{silence}

I am watching what you say too

So far I haven't noticed anything new

--Gwendolyn Albert

Aseem_Kaul said...

Wow! talk about setting off a powder magazine.

First, a clarification - in my commentary I used the word American (simply
out of convenience, and to go with the poem) to stand for the coalition of
forces in Iraq and all those in the Western world that support them. My
apologies therefore to (IMHO) right-thinking americans who are against the
war. My apologies also to the UK and other countries that support this war
that justly deserve the same criticism and didn't get it!

Second, reading through the comments I'm less concerned by people calling
me stupid (I did say arrogance, remember) and more by those who feel that
this is not the right time to talk about this! I would think this is
precisely the right time to talk about these issues - rather than waiting
another 50 years and then looking them up in some history book as something
no one cares about anymore. Or perhaps Mr Okopnik thinks that poetry isn't
the right forum to talk about 'serious' issues and that we should restrict
ourselves to poems about flowers and hummingbirds. Or believes that if we
all keep very quiet the war will go away and he won't have to be against it
anymore. If that's being 'sensible' than I'd rather be drunk and imbecilic.
And what's more, having read Ginsberg, I don't think he'd have a problem
with burning torches near powder kegs. I think he'd enjoy throwing them in.

Aseem

M. McCrary said...

i can't stand listening to a bunch of liberals. i am a conservative and i like George Bush for the most part. he is a man of morals and i think people in this country have lost their conscience. i support the war because it is the right thing to do. The War on terror is a just war and i support George Bush for taking a stand and protecting the common people.

Kyle M.

DrSlony said...

If indeed it was a war against terrorism, the aforementioned Dark Lord's best move towards victory would be suicide.

Chellappa Mallika (Mallika) said...

Gosh - I wonder how I missed this exchange!

It's a pity that one can't have an honest opinion anymore without
being lumped with this group or that. Even if that opinion turns
out to be wrong, it is one's right to hold it until one learns better.

So to some a bleeding lib is the worst thing to be.

Others live by the credo - "I don't agree with your position, but
I will fight to the death for your right to hold it".

I always hark back to EM Forster's words:
"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend,
I hope I should have the guts to betray my country"

Laws and boundaries change, but some things _are_ fundamental.
The problem is we don't agree on which!

Mallika

Anonymous said...

can anyone post words for the boy in the dusk?

Inversiones en oro said...

Good morning, this poem make me feel happy.

Invertir en oro said...

I love to read poems,specially poems like this because make me feel in love

Inversiones en petroleo said...

i love this poem, you are a great writer.

viagra online said...

Wow, this poem was a little bit rude for me but that's perfect because it's other kind of inspiration, it expresses what the writer felt.m10m

Ideas de negocios said...

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, but I am firmly convinced of this and love to learn more about the subject. If possible, acquire knowledge, would you update your blog with more information? It is very helpful to me

Space Matters Real Estates said...

Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return. Plots for sale in Hyderabad
Plots for sale in Banjara Hills
Plots for sale in Jubilee Hills
Plots for sale in Manikonda
Plots for sale in Madhapur
Plots for sale in kondapur
Plots for sale in Gachibowli
Plots for sale in Kukatpally

Anonymous said...

Oncе you κnoω what's getting you clients and what is popular enough business to be ready for both, incurring losses as well as concession pricing lists.

Also visit my web site; nj internet marketing

Anonymous said...

Well… round about every blog posts online don’t have much originality as I found on yours.. Just keep updating much useful information so that reader like me would come back over and over again.prepaybank |

calleija |

dontdothedodo |

intelligentformulation |

caphe-vn |

futrets |

auction-expert |

sail-lizziemay |

dubai-realestate |

scottishpoet |

Anonymous said...

"Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here. "esportsplus |

sportscarhireworld |

sportscarrentalworld |

turnermotorsportsllc |

rasensport |

devthroughsport |

kids2prosports |

youthsportsservices |

sportsaround |

spanien-transport |

brokerforex said...

For example, it also give permits a business in the United States to import goods from the European Union member states like United Kingdom, and pay euros, even though its income is in United States dollars. In forex markets it also supports direct speculation in the value of currencies, and the carry trade between two currencies.

Anonymous said...

I want you to thank for your time of this wonderful read!!! I definately enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog.www.esportsplus.org |

www.sportscarhireworld.org |

www.sportscarrentalworld.org |

www.turnermotorsportsllc.org |

www.rasensport.org |

www.devthroughsport.org |

www.kids2prosports.org |

www.youthsportsservices.org |

www.sportsaround.org |

www.spanien-transport.org |

William Smith said...

Thank you, I’ve just been searching for information about this topic for a while and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered till now. Home cleaning | Hotel | But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you sure concerning the supply?

Anonymous said...

good
obat wasir yang sudah parah tanpa operasi
obat wasir yang sudah parah
obat wasir sudah parah
obat wasir sudah parah tanpa operasi
obat untuk wasir yang sudah parah tanpa operasi
cara menghilangkan kutil di kemaluan pria
cara menghilangkan kutil pria
menghilangkan kutil di kemaluan pria
menghilangkan kutil di pria
cara menghilangkan kutil kemaluan pria
cara alami menghilangkan kutil di kemaluan pria
menghilangkan kutil di kemaluan pria
cara alami menghilangkan kutil
menghilangkan kutil pria
cara alami untuk menghilangkan kutil di kemaluan pria
Cara Herbal Menghilangkan Kutil di Kemaluan Pria
Cara Herbal Menghilangkan
Cara Herbal Menghilangkan Kutil Kemaluan Pria
Cara Herbal Menghilangkan Kutil di Kemaluan
Cara Herbal untuk Menghilangkan Kutil di Kemaluan Pria
cara tradisional menghilangkan kutil di kemaluan pria
cara tradisional menghilangkan kutil
cara tradisional menghilangkan kutil di pria
cara tradisional menghilangkan kutil pria
cara tradisional untuk menghilangkan kutil di kemaluan pria
menghilangkan kutil di kemaluan pria secara alami
cara menghilangkan kutil di kemaluan pria secara alami
menghilangkan kutil di kemaluan pria
menghilangkan kutil kemaluan pria secara alami
menghilangkan penyakit kutil di kemaluan pria secara alami
Menghilangkan Kutil di Kemaluan Pria Tanpa Operasi
Menghilangkan Kutil di Kemaluan Pria
Menghilangkan Kutil di Kemaluan
Menghilangkan Kutil Kemaluan Pria Tanpa Operasi
Menghilangkan Kutil di Kemaluan Pria Tanpa harus Operasi
menghilangkan kutil di kemaluan pria tanpa ke dokter
menghilangkan kutil di kemaluan pria
cara menghilangkan kutil kemaluan
menghilangkan kutil

Michael Syaukas said...

Nice Post, Thanks for your very useful information... I will bookmark for next reference

Obat Herbal said...

Seberat apapun beban masalah yang kamu hadapi saat ini, percayalah bahwa semua itu tidak pernah melebihi batas kemampuan kamu.

Post a Comment