The following is an excerpt from Allen Ginsberg’s Denver Doldrums
Art is illusion, for I do not act
–Dwell or Depart—with faithful merriment,
My thoughts, though skeptic, are in sacrament,
Holy prayer for knowledge of pure fact.
So I enact the Hope I can create
A lively world around my deadly eyes
Sad paradise it is I imitate,
And fallen angels whose lost wings are sighs.
In this unworldly state wherein I move
My Faith and Hope are hellish currency:
In counterfeit worlds, I coin small Charity
About myself, and trade my soul for Love.
This was written by Allen Ginsberg while he was in Denver with Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac. He hand copied these stanzas and gave it to Kerouac as a present. Ginsberg’s handwriting was cramped and small and “Sad paradise . . .” appeared to Kerouac as “Sal Paradise,” which he adopted as the name for his character in the book “On The Road.”
More than any of this literary trivia however, I urge you to read the lines and feel the emotions being expressed. I always knew Ginsberg was supposed to be a great poet, but I never read him until now.