Allen Ginsberg

(3 June 1926 – 5 April 1997 / Newark, New Jersey)

Psalm IV


Now I'll record my secret vision, impossible sight of the face of God:
It was no dream, I lay broad waking on a fabulous couch in Harlem
having masturbated for no love, and read half naked an open book of Blake
on my lap
Lo & behold! I was thoughtless and turned a page and gazed on the living
Sun-flower
and heard a voice, it was Blake's, reciting in earthen measure:
the voice rose out of the page to my secret ear never heard before-
I lifted my eyes to the window, red walls of buildings flashed outside,
endless sky sad Eternity
sunlight gazing on the world, apartments of Harlem standing in the
universe--
each brick and cornice stained with intelligence like a vast living face--
the great brain unfolding and brooding in wilderness!--Now speaking
aloud with Blake's voice--
Love! thou patient presence & bone of the body! Father! thy careful
watching and waiting over my soul!
My son! My son! the endless ages have remembered me! My son! My son!
Time howled in anguish in my ear!
My son! My son! my father wept and held me in his dead arms.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Jennifer Bergk (12/20/2005 3:31:00 PM)

    The character in this book is looking for love in all the wrong places. He thinks he hears the voice of Blake who plays a godly role in this piece. Everything seams to be speaking to him, the walls, the sunflower and the sky. This piece speaks of remembrance of the father and how the father holds him in his dead arms. (Report) Reply

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