Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!
Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!
The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy!
The nose is holy! The tongue and cock and hand
and asshole holy!
Everything is holy! everybody’s holy! everywhere is
holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman’s an
The bum’s as holy as the seraphim! the madman is
holy as you my soul are holy!
The typewriter is holy the poem is holy the voice is
holy the hearers are holy the ecstasy is holy!
Holy Peter holy Allen holy Solomon holy Lucien holy
Kerouac holy Huncke holy Burroughs holy Cas-
sady holy the unknown buggered and suffering
beggars holy the hideous human angels!
Holy my mother in the insane asylum! Holy the cocks
of the grandfathers of Kansas!
Holy the groaning saxophone! Holy the bop
apocalypse! Holy the jazzbands marijuana
hipsters peace & junk & drums!
Holy the solitudes of skyscrapers and pavements! Holy
the cafeterias filled with the millions! Holy the
mysterious rivers of tears under the streets!
Holy the lone juggernaut! Holy the vast lamb of the
middle class! Holy the crazy shepherds of rebell-
ion! Who digs Los Angeles IS Los Angeles!
Holy New York Holy San Francisco Holy Peoria &
Seattle Holy Paris Holy Tangiers Holy Moscow
Holy Istanbul!
Holy time in eternity holy eternity in time holy the
clocks in space holy the fourth dimension holy
the fifth International holy the Angel in Moloch!
Holy the sea holy the desert holy the railroad holy the
locomotive holy the visions holy the hallucina-
tions holy the miracles holy the eyeball holy the
Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours!
bodies! suffering! magnanimity!
Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent
kindness of the soul!

Berkeley 1955

Analysis, meaning and summary of Allen Ginsberg's poem Footnote To Howl


  1. cole says:

    i dont understand

  2. peramia says:

    I don’t think he’s saying nothing is holy, but that everything is. Even humanity and civilization with all it’s sins and failings is still holy and beautiful. That is what the holy section means to me. Look even at the rest of the poem. He glorifies the grotesque, and joyfully speaks of things most dare not even think of.

    Ginsberg was a genius.

  3. Karen Doherty says:

    Shannon I read it completely the opposite, that EVERYTHING is Holy and amazing!

  4. Christine says:

    I used the first line of this poem to create my comment in a poem of my own

    Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent
    kindness of the soul!
    everything has potential to be more than it can be
    most content to stagnate and just become lazy
    holyness takes effort of the monumental sort
    where only the deserving ships will ere to find their port
    with holyness comes knowledge and a certain knowing
    that blossoms forth from a seed
    and continues to keep growing
    it’s roots spread deep into the ground
    it’s branches to the sky
    holyness is potential
    untapped and left to die

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