That Golden Light

Allen Ginsberg


There is a light
coming in violence
upon the mind. My
eyes opened at once.

The beast of Dawn
rose in the shrunk
and brilliant sky
like a holy ghost

of solid gold—
the Ecstasy!
Can one stare forever
at the morning sun?

Gold light appeared
underneath paint,
tear, sex and rose,
transcending each.

How far can the mind
raise itself toward heaven?
The egg-bird-dragon-Christ
imagination bomb

up the complete world
with golden light?
Memory, memory summon
up your ancient Eye.

A little light again!
Coming, coming the Spectre falls
out of Heaven’s sunny wall—
the Einsteins all amaze!

That thought was ancient
when antiquity began.
Or is it just
a hallucination?

Cathedral of Worlds!
Mass of the changeless Soul!
When shall I ever see
the Light of the Just?

Silence: no answer
to this stupid monody.
Where is the Redeemer
of my soul?

Not there where Christ’s
sad spectre sings upon
his cross across the sea,
further in the oceans

of old time than howl
of India or shriek of tribe.
Not the white brilliance
of the social bomb.

But I’m a third eaten
by that carnal Eye
that consumes all
mankind with its light.


Copyright 1960 The Penn Review.