“Trembling Lambs”

america_a_prophecy_copy_a_plate_02
William Blake – title-page of America a Prophecy copy A (printed 1795) – collection of the Morgan Library

 

Allen, writing, prophetically, in 1959:

AG: “Recent history is the record of a vast conspiracy to impose one level of mechanical consciousness on mankind and exterminate all manifestations of that unique part of human sentience, identical in all men, which the individual shares with his Creator. The suppression of contemplative individuality is nearly complete…”

“Because systems of mass communication can communicate only officially acceptable levels of reality, no one can ever know the extent of the secret unconscious life. No one in America can know what will happen. No one is in real control. America is having a nervous breakdown. Poetry is the record of individual insights into the secret soul of  the individual  and because all individuals are one in the eyes of their creator, into the soul of the world. The world has a soul. America is having a nervous breakdown…”

“The stakes are too great – An America gone mad with materialism, a police-state America, a sexless and soulless America prepared to battle the world in defense in a false image of its authority. Not the wild and beautiful America of the comrades of Walt Whitman, nor the historic America of William Blake and Henry David Thoreau where the spiritual independence of each individual was an America, a universe, more huge and awesome than all the abstract bureaucracies and authoritarian officialdoms of the world combined.”

“Only those who have entered the world of spirit know what a vast laugh there is in the illusory appearance of worldly authority. And all men at one time or other enter that Spirit, whether in life or death.

How many hypocrites are there in America? How many trembling lambs, fearful of discovery….”

(from “Poetry, Violence, and the Trembling Lambs” or “Independence Day Manifesto”
– Allen Ginsberg, c. July 4, 1959 [sic])

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