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Allen Ginsberg II, A Desolation

*shrug* It's Emily. Hi.
by

The Awsome

on 4 May 2010

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Transcript of Allen Ginsberg II, A Desolation

Now mind is clear
as a cloudless sky.
Time then to make a
home in wilderness.

What have I done but
wander with my eyes
in the trees? So I
will build: wife,
family, and seek
for neighbors.

Or I
perish of lonesomeness
or want of food or
lightning or the bear
(must tame the hart
and wear the bear).

And maybe make an image
of my wandering, a little
image—shrine by the
roadside to signify
to traveler that I live
here in the wilderness
awake and at home. A Desolation

Poem by Allen Ginsberg
Presentation by Emily Kosnik Now mind is clear
as a cloudless sky.
Time then to make a
home in wilderness.

What have I done but
wander with my eyes
in the trees? So I
will build: wife,
family, and seek
for neighbors.

Or I
perish of lonesomeness
or want of food or
lightning or the bear
(must tame the hart
and wear the bear).

And maybe make an image
of my wandering, a little
image—shrine by the
roadside to signify
to traveler that I live
here in the wilderness
awake and at home. Rather than make a hasty desicion, now that his mind is clear, he can decide he wishes to depart from society. It's all he's been thinking about. His mind is in nature, and he wishes his physical body there as well. Wife and family here are figureative, he will build his family of the creatures that inhabit the forest, seeking to understand them. He fears if he does not find kinship in the forrest critters, he will die for lack of companionship. Or if he is not smart and carful, he won't be able to find enough food to sustain himself. Perhaps, even, the forrest creatures he wishes for companions will turn on him, becomming hatful and murderous. Rather than be forgotten by society (which he would rather forget) he would, perhaps, leave some sort of sigh by the side of the road, indicating that he is still out there. But it also servs as a reminder that he is more comfortable in nature than he was in society. Speaker- Someone who wants to escape from society. He likes nature, and so sets out to make a home in the wilderness. Figurative language- A few examples of the figurative language in this poem are “clear as a cloudless sky”, where the speaker is referring to his mind and thoughts. Another is “So I will build: wife, family, and seek for neighbors”. The speaker cannot be referring to people, as he is looking to get away from other humans. He means the birds and creepers that prowl among the bush. His goal is to ‘befriend’ them; in a way, become one of them. Tone- For what the speaker is proposing, he is rather optimistic in the first two stanzas. By line 12, (“perish of lonesomeness…”) the tone takes a downward plunge, for a few lines, seeming almost fearful. Line seventeen, the beginning of the fourth stanza, brings the tone ‘upwards’ again and ends the poem on a hopeful note. Theme- The theme of the poem is nature. Both the beauties and dangers of it. And the speaker’s escape from society. Title- Desolation means roughly ‘destroyed’. The title of the poem is relevant because it shows us a look into the speaker’s life in our world. Why is he leaving society for nature? Perhaps someone he knew and loves very much has died, and so he feels there is nowhere for him to go. Or maybe he is like the Freecreditreport.com guy, and had his identity stolen and doesn’t want to work at a Renaissance fair. THANK YOU!
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