My Inner Moonlight?

Howl at the Moon

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” — Allen Ginsberg

Do you follow Ginsberg’s advice — in your writing and/or in your everyday life?


My inner moonlight? I’m not sure I even know what that means, or what Mr. Ginsberg was trying to say.  I don’t think I have any hidden madness.  I’m pretty solidly planted, practical, realistic.  I can have flights of fantasy, and often do.  I don’t think that’s madness.

This just doesn’t strike me right.  Maybe it’s because of the work I do, trying to help people who are very depressed and have been told that they’re “insane.”  That’s a horrible thing to say to a hurting person.  Say it to me, and I shrug it off.  Say it to someone who’s fighting incredible darkness, and it’s not so shruggable.

Is Mr. Ginsberg simply saying we shouldn’t try to hide who we really are? If so, he put it in rather disturbing terms. Are we all hiding some inner madness that we need to unleash just for the sake of self-expression?  What a world THAT would create!

I do  try to be honest in my life and in my writing.  I strive for simple terms, simply presented. My thinking tends to run in pretty straight lines, and I don’t often entertain hobgoblins and werewolves in my mind.

Okay, I just found the quote in a more complete setting, and it makes a little more sense: 

Maybe I’m too prosaic.  Maybe that’s my true inner madness.  Beats me.

19 thoughts on “My Inner Moonlight?

  1. Tidlidim

    Looks to me like a quotation taken very much out of context! Just posted but I don’t really see the link between my original interpretation of the quote, which was rather positive (thank you for reminding me of the dark side of madness) and concentrating on what you say to your friends. The mind boggles :/

    Liked by 1 person

      1. He was gay and many of his poems reflect his fight againt the establishment as was typical in the 1960’s. The vulgar sexual descriptions got me at first but when I started listening to his words and the rythmns… WOW! Research the Beat Poets… they were brillant!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like to think that my inner moonlight is where my creativity comes from, and I also think my darkness feeds the same well, so maybe I need moonlight and madness to be who I am. Maybe that’s another interpretation of what the quote might mean? Have a fabulous weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree that the whole quote makes more sense. I’m not sure if releasing more “madness” into this already crazy world is going to help anyone, either. 🙂

    And I agree with you: folks who struggle with mental ills simply can’t permit the thought that there might be something wrong with their minds. If someone told me that my mind wasn’t working right and maybe I should get treatment, I’d probably get a second and third opinion, then seek treatment if this was recommended. But I have a friend whom doctors would class as paranoid schizophrenic and there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with her mind! It’s all a giant plot to drive her insane so doctors can get her into the hospital and kill her.


      1. Joking about? I agree that everyone has flights of fantasy, but some writers get so macabre, you’d think the world could do with less of this imagination running wild.
        And I’m not referring to simple depression in my comment. I agree; it would be cruel to tell a depressed person they were insane.
        As to serious mental illness (distortion of reality), I wouldn’t just shrug it off if a reliable friend suggested I needed treatment, but then I am free to consider I may have a problem. As to my friend, she can’t allow that thought. She spills out her paranoia to me and I’ve suggested she isn’t seeing things as they really are, that people don’t all hate her and the government isn’t out to destroy her.
        So I’ve heard this story from her hundreds of times over the past thirty years. “There’s nothing wrong with me! I see things the way they really are; it’s all the rest of you that are looking through rose-colored glasses and not admitting the truth.” And “The doctors try to get people into the hospital, say their minds aren’t working right, and then get rid of the ones society doesn’t want.”
        The fact that she’s survived several hospital stays never alters her suspicions when she faces another medical problem.


      2. Ok, thanks for the clarification. That is a very sad story, and I’m sorry for your friend who lives in such fear. I really didn’t know how to take your comment, and I’m very sorry if I offended you. Maybe I take these things so seriously because of the work I do. So much pain people carry, often unnecessarily, like your friend.


      3. No offense taken. I realized later I hadn’t made myself clear enough. There is something very wrong with her mind, due to her sad history. She was hospitalized once years ago for a short time, but is harmless, so wasn’t kept in. Her fears make her her own worse enemy; this is very sad.
        The good part: all these years she’s clung stubbornly to God and He comes through for her.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I have to wonder if, at some level, she does know that her fears are mostly in her mind. Hard way to live. It’s good she has a patient and caring friend in you.


  4. Pingback: Howl at the Moon | Blogged With Words

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