American Poet and Author of “Howl” on Textual Corrections for his “Plutonian Ode”

Signed by Allen Ginsberg

Item: 12445
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GINSBERG, ALLEN. (1926-1997). American poet; author of the cult favorite Howl. ALS. (“Allen Ginsberg”). 2pp. 4to. New York, February 22, 1981. To his friend, Hungarian writer and translator ISTVÁN EÖRSI (1931-2005).

“Re textual questions—

Strophe→ – at last – meaning “Finally,” “at long last,” – “After all these years”

“inquisitive” is an epithet, adjective, to Whitmans name, i.e.

Finally, o inquisitive (curious) Mr. Whitman, here we have an epic theme.

Strophe 23 Hangar – Silas Maron Incorporated is a factory where nuclear bomb parts are assembled to complete the Bomb

Manzano Mountain – is a mountain outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where old bombs are stored insidde [sic] a hollowed-out-mountain

Strophe 37 Form – shape, or structure. I’m following idea of Wm. Blake, that in order to understand Satan (evil = ignorance) you have to realize his rationale or form or structure. Otherwise it’s a vague idea like fighting a mist or ghost

Lathe-oil – a lathe is a machine which turns, a grinder or saw, to shape a round object. They’re greased by oil, to avoid friction heat – combustion.

Strophe 59 – sat with wheels means cars parked with wheels turned into the sidewalk curb so they won’t roll dow[n]hill. Sat = parked.

Flatiron – Flatiron mountains are the Front range of sharp rocky hills before the main peaks of Rocky Mountains behind Boulder (City), Colorado.

Yes Strophe 65, Gate etc. not 64.

I’ll be in Boulder from March 20 thru August 20 – but absent travelling April 18-26 to N.Y. & Northwest coast.

You can stay with me in Boulder, or at my house in N.Y. if you’re here – See Bob Rosenthal if I’m absent (Bob’s phone is 477-2487 (212) — )

In haste, 2:30A.M…

Oh yes, that’s fine about certification to stay & work with me about translation. Let’s do it!! How’s Ohio work? I haven’t been there to read poetry in a couple of years.”

After befriending Beat icons Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs and Neal Cassidy while attending Columbia University, Ginsberg followed Cassidy to San Francisco and erupted onto the scene with his now legendary reading and 1955 publication of Howl, a long prose poem in the tradition of Kerouac, and his 1950 novel On the Road. Ginsberg became one of America’s best-known contemporary poets due in part to his prolific output in diverse media.

Our document discusses Ginsberg’s “Plutonian Ode,” a 1978 poem written to protest nuclear armament, which invokes American poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892), an inspiration to Ginsberg.

Allen Ginsberg and Walt Whitman


In his youth, Eörsi had supported the Russian Communist rule of his native Hungary but was later jailed for helping incite the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 with his ideological poetry. After his release from prison, Eörsi was banned from publishing his own work turning, instead, to translating works by Goethe, Brecht, Shelley, Keats, Lorca, and Ginsberg. “Ginsberg was popular and appreciated in Hungary, his intrinsic message of individual freedom resonated with Hungarian youth, writers, and artists who lived under Communist dictatorship. With poetry celebrating democratic sensibilities and championing free expression, Allen Ginsberg was well-represented in Hungarian publications, aided by the enthusiastic translations of Eorsi Istvan,” (“Looking for Ginsberg in Hungary,

In addition to his prolific output, Ginsberg influenced the literary landscape by teaching creative writing at several universities and co-founding a summer writing institute, the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, at the Buddhist Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Ginsberg’s poetry and political activism, both in and outside the U.S., made him one of America’s best-known counterculture representatives.

For 20 years, poet Bob Rosenthal (b. 1950) served as Ginsberg’s secretary and, after his death, became his literary executor and biographer.

Written on the verso of two pages of typescript over which Ginsberg has written “recycled” and which appears to be a story about a sexual encounter. Ginsberg has added his black-ink stamped address at the top of the first page. Folded and in very good condition.

American Poet and Author of “Howl” on Textual Corrections for his “Plutonian Ode”

Signed by Allen Ginsberg

$575 • item #12445

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