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Passions in Poetry

Ken Kesey quotes to ponder

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Midnitesun
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0 posted 02-20-2005 10:03 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

"You've got to get out and pray to the sky to appreciate the sunshine, otherwise you're just a lizard standing there with the sun shining on you. We need the rituals or else we have to contrive our own because all of our rituals have been co-opted and corrupted and taken from us and used by Coca-Cola and Nike."

and in a late 80's interview

"As I've often told Ginsberg," he began, "you can't blame the President for the state of the country, it's always the poets' fault. You can't expect politicians to come up with a vision, they don't have it in them. Poets have to come up with the vision and they have to turn it on so it sparks and catches hold."

What are your thoughts/reaction to these quotes from  Ken Kesey, quite some time before his death in Nov 2001.
I've spent the last 24 hours pondering many of Kesey's  quotes, thanks to the thread that Copperbell started about famous people. Kesey had more of an impact on me than most any other modern day writer I've ever read and met. I cannot even begin to acknowledge the depth of impact he had on me as a person, as a would-be writer.
Aenimal
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1 posted 02-20-2005 11:21 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

"all of our rituals have been co-opted and corrupted and taken from us and used by Coca-Cola and Nike."

absolutely! couldn't ask for a more relevant quote as we lya recovering from the advertising blitzkrieg's of x-mas and valentine's day. spirit and l#ve co-opted..wretch

Not sure I totally agree with the second part, it is the president's fault. but i understand what he's saying as well, or at least i understood it a certain way. it's is up to artist/poet to inspire change when things are at their worst.that's what was great about the early 90's, there was a similar movement, feel, to the 60's. and for a few years our priorities were straight until gap, nike and the rest proved you could package and sell revolution too. meh..

Midnitesun
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2 posted 02-20-2005 11:59 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

He was always one whose words made sense to me, rang bells of truth. Thanks for your thoughts, Raph.
Yes, and I also put much blame upon the presidential palace politicians.
Aenimal
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3 posted 02-21-2005 12:48 AM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

i've always been fond of his work, out of curiosity what do you think of hunter s thompson?
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4 posted 02-21-2005 12:54 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

brb, am watching a special on TV

The First Five Years of SNL
WOOHOOO!
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5 posted 02-21-2005 01:37 AM       View Profile for bbent   Email bbent   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit bbent's Home Page   View IP for bbent

makes sense to me but i'm really more of a dylan fan than a big reader.
Aenimal
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6 posted 02-21-2005 07:09 AM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

argh, forgot that was on..ah well..comedy central shows those older episodes every so often
littlewing
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7 posted 02-21-2005 09:25 AM       View Profile for littlewing   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for littlewing

I saw half of that special, pissed me off, I truly miss SNL, grew up on that, but as for Kesey and Ginsberg, Kerouac and Ferlinghetti, Pound and Hemingway . . . God, Lenny Bruce, too . . .

My God, they paved the way for us . . .

It blows my mind, to see pictures of the Dead and Dylan and Ginsberg/Kerouac and Kesey then Hemingway and Pound with Wm Carlos Williams . . . I mean - they all knew each other . . . Pound being the beginning, I do believe, of that generation.  

Raph, I am not familiar with him, I need to check
that out.

I agree with his quotes completely, I mean if we aren't watching the world, the poets, the observers, the ones who FEEL, who is?

I just saw the most amazing print of Dylan and Ginsberg sitting by Kerouacs' gravesite, Dylan holding his acoustic and Ginsberg sitting by with a volume of  Jack's work.  

Ray, being a Dylan fan is being a fan of all of it, without even realizing it, truly.

I was so born in the wrong era . . .

and one day will show you me,
standing at Haight-Ashbury.
*smile*
Mistletoe Angel
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8 posted 02-21-2005 01:25 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



Ken Kesey is one of my favorite writers and thinkers (you probably already figured that, though! )

Dr. Benjamin Spock, Caesar Chavez, Gandhi, Stephen Gaskin, Jeanette Rankin, Terence McKenna, those are just some of the great names I admire.

The best popular music indisputably came out of that era too. Jefferson Airplane my absolute favorite.

Gosh, we really need to start that counter-revolution now, it's time to go Abbie again! Green Day is proving to be a good start for inspiring this movement with the extreme success of "American Idiot".

I take a lot of his words to heart and adopt them in how I approach the world. I still believe it when he says, "There are going to be times when we can't wait for somebody. Now, you're either on the bus or off the bus. If you're on the bus, and you get left behind, then you'll find it again. If you're off the bus in the first place—then it won't make a damn."

I absolutely agree with the first quote. Rituals are what bring the great sense of variety and balance in our lives, and when they all get sucked into the corporate vacuum and sugar-coated, then we are left powerless unless we just ante up.

Yeah, the second quote I see where he's going, but it's STILL the president's fault to a large degree. Especially when you have a secretive and stubborn one who won't be open with the people. He's absolutely right that politicians really have no real vision, because, after all, politics are blood-sucking ticks and one twisted game of power. It truly is the poets who have the vision most of all. Martin Luther King Jr. had the poetry in his soul. And it was the grassroots movement and activists and everyday citizens that made the Civil Rights Movement possible, not the legislators.

Politicians truly are the ones you must trust the least. They are the ones who lie the most and deceive you the most.

Makes me wonder: Why can't we have a poet in the White House for a change? I guarantee when that happens, our nation will see possibilities we never noticed before.

'Til then, will all the poets please stand up! Great, now let's go out there in the streets and let our vision be shared to the world!

Peace out!

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

littlewing
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9 posted 02-22-2005 01:13 PM       View Profile for littlewing   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for littlewing

Noah,

I love what you have said and agree with so much of it.  I was just thinking this while reading watching some biographies on King and Malcolm X, JFK . . . the entire era and although there was so much suffering, so much pain, there were ideals and vision and some promise.

There was culture.  Belief.  Pride.

That is something I feel is lost.  I mean, where are the mentors, the poets, the leaders?  Where are the ones who want to make a difference, who are not afraid to make a difference and quite frankly, intelligent enough to carry that off.

Why can't we have a poet in the White House for a change?

*smile*  we feel wayy too much . . .
that's why.

Aenimal
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10 posted 02-22-2005 03:59 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

"You could strike sparks anywhere.There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right,that we were winning...
  
And that, I think, was the handle--the sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense;we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting---on our side or theirs.We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave....

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark -- that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."

~hunter s. thompson 'fear and loathing in las vegas' 1971
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11 posted 02-22-2005 04:32 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



That's why I truly believe, from the knowledge I've learned from others, the 60's was a miraculous, enlightening era, Littlewing!



No one can deny there was chaos, there was anxiety, there was trouble, and there was even disorder. Then again, there's always been disorder in purgatory. There was a great romance during that era. Young people really believed they could make a difference and change the world, they felt empowered and sanguine. As naive as determination can be, isn't that what we wish for all our children? That they can grow up and follow their dreams and achieve them, to make the world a better place. The youth stood tall on their own two feet then and just the sight of flooded campus grounds, farms and city parks can't help but make anyone smile in astonishment.

The 60's was as closest to a filiarchy in our nation than ever before! Everyone wasn't always right, but everyone believed in something, and that's what's most important. Regardless of your beliefs, you found a place and you weren't pointed at for that. Grassroots activism, or the impression among the average American, was at its peak then I believe.

That whole passion is just lacking today. Everyone I know considers myself a "pleistoscene hippy", but often I am labeled as a renegade because of that. You hear all the cable news networks treat "liberal" as a dirty word, as though being "conservative" is the norm and "liberal" is sub-norm. But it is both sets of values and doctrines that have made the greatness of America, and I dream to see it return to that, where it doesn't matter what your positions are.

And I really desire that spirit to come back with a vengeance. I do see it living among some today. I believe Green Day has it in them, and they may inspire more to bring back rock and roll in its organic form. I see it in Winona LaDuke, David Cobb and other alternative party activists. These new heroes are there, they just need to be discovered.

Marian Wright Edelman said, "If we don't stand up for children, then we don't stand for much." Someone else I remember said that when one generation plants the seed, another generation gets the shade. I am trying to do all I can to sow and inspire other youth to do the same so tomorrow our children won't be left sunburnt by empty promises.

I continue to remain optimistic this renaissance of the youthful spirit is exhumed, and can sugar-coat the world once again.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

littlewing
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12 posted 02-22-2005 07:56 PM       View Profile for littlewing   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for littlewing

a great tribute to one amazing artist Raph, so very sad . . .

I agree Noah, wholeheartedly about the passion . . .
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13 posted 02-22-2005 09:28 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Raph, I've read a bit of Hunter, but not an entire book. Thanks for the reminder, to read some stuff he wrote almost 20 years ago, that still has the current ring of truth. Swine LOL, and the Fear writes. He doesn't tiptoe around at all, does he? Biting...and then chewing and spitting out bits of our cultural crap pies.

[This message has been edited by Midnitesun (02-22-2005 11:57 PM).]

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14 posted 02-22-2005 11:27 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

On Sunday night, Hunter S Thompson, at the age of 67, took his own life with a gunshot to the head at his home in Woody Creek, Colorado.

I am stunned
sitting here
silently

but then I hadn't read the other replies above, nor your thread about his suicide, until after reading it on google news

too sad, too sad
but he lived and died his way
damn, that sounds like a sick las vegas sinatra comment
goodbye hunter....
Aenimal
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15 posted 02-22-2005 11:56 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

imagine my surprise, having mentioned him in this thread, and then reading the paper this morning only to be kicked in the teeth with this
Midnitesun
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16 posted 02-23-2005 12:00 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

it chilled me, as I had considered buying three of his books yesterday, but decided to wait for another paycheck, and allowed my daughter to spend a bit more on a book she wanted
I figured, well, he will still be there next month

damn
hugs to you Raph, for I can sense how important he was to you
that's the way I felt when Kesey died
Aenimal
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17 posted 02-23-2005 12:03 AM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

genius' both. hugs
Midnitesun
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18 posted 02-23-2005 12:06 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

yes
candles, both of them
they lit a pathway
g'nite, Raphie, and a candle of peaceful thoughts is burning for you too
don't hate mother earth, just remember Hunter's tributes, remeber the messages he left us
Aenimal
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19 posted 02-23-2005 07:51 AM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

"Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism--which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place. He looked so good on paper that you could almost vote for him sight unseen. He seemed so all-American, so much like Horatio Alger, that he was able to slip through the cracks of Objective Journalism. You had to get Subjective to see Nixon clearly, and the shock of recognition was often painful."

that's what hunter had to say about nixon, and for many of us, there are clear parallels to a certain president that 'objective journalists' have coddled far too long.s'what i l#ved about hunter, his subjective take.shrugs
littlewing
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20 posted 02-23-2005 12:24 PM       View Profile for littlewing   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for littlewing

Raph, I thought you knew, that is why I said it was a beautiful tribute up there.  I just bought "Fear" and his biography, too - about a week ago.
Aenimal
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21 posted 02-23-2005 01:48 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

nope, jus tpicked up the paper and saw his face, got so excited to see him in the paper it didn't even register at first why they were righting about him. then i reread the first paragraph and saw, shot himself. it's silly maybe, but i'm reeling over this whole thing, like people over john's death. he was an untamed, wildly original spirit, and a voice of our weirdest fantasies and fears
littlewing
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22 posted 02-23-2005 09:41 PM       View Profile for littlewing   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for littlewing

No, it's not silly, my nephew turned me onto him awhile back and he is the one who just bought his biography and has been telling me all about him . . . it freaked me out, too and totally crushed Kevin.

I have just started to learn of him this year.  
 
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