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Allen Ginsberg

Dream Record: June 8, 1955

Prior to reading “Dream Record,” Ginsberg jokes with the audience a bit, saying at one point, “I don’t want to corrupt the youth.” It’s unclear from the recording what precipitated this remark.

For a prose transcription of the dream that was the source for this poem, see Ginsberg’s Journals: Mid-Fifties, 1954-1958, edited by Gordon Ball (p. 136). “I dreamed this during a drunken night in my house when I brought home John R. and we lay peacefully at a late hour in each other’s arms asleep…”

Written in 1955 in San Francisco and published in Reality Sandwiches (1963). Note variations from published version: 2 additional lines; one deletion, substituted words in 6 lines.

February 1956
Reed College