Song

Sometimes we are overwhelmed by this thing called love. Allen Ginsberg wrote the poem Song about this. He expressed his deepest feelings on how much of a weight this can cost on the heart.

 

Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovski
Allen Ginsberg (left) and his partner Peter Orlovski in 1978.
Source: Wikimedia Commons.

About Allen Ginsberg

Irwin Allen Ginsberg was born on June 3 1926 in Newark (New Jersey, US). At an early age, he started sending letters to the New York Times. He would continue to write during his whole life. His work was awarded with several prizes, including the U.S. National Book Award for Poetry

The world lost a great poet on April 5 1997. This was the day, when Ginsberg died. He was not without controversy, since he was admitted to a mental institute, when he studied at the Columbia University. He was send there, after pleading insanity when he was heard about the harbouring of stolen goods in his dorm room.

This poet was one of the leading figures in the Beat Generation of the fifties, next to Michael McClure and Gary Snyder. His first publication Howl and other poems (1956) was well received, though some considered the book to be obscene. Ginsberg wrote openly about his sexual orientation. He lived together with his life partner Peter Orlovsky.

When searching for the boundaries of the conscience, Ginsberg used several drugs to get the inspiration he needed. He was greatly inspired by the English poet William Blake. Tragedies in the world history also were subjects to write about for him. He wrote about the holocaust and the war in Vietnam.

 

About the poem

The title might be strange, when it’s compared to the stanzas and the essence of the poem. This poem is about love. Love, that can be so mind controlling and leaves one puzzled and dazzled. This is the love, that is so well described in this poem.

A solitude and a burden, they aren’t commonly used when it comes to love. Ginsberg wrote them into his poem. Since love can be “heavy” as well.

 

Song

Song

The weight of the world
is love.
Under the burden
of solitude,
under the burden
of dissatisfaction

the weight,
the weight we carry
is love.

Who can deny?
In dreams
it touches
the body,
in thought
constructs
a miracle,
in imagination
anguishes
till born
in human—
looks out of the heart
burning with purity—
for the burden of life
is love,

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

— Allen Ginsberg

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