From The New York Times:

COLLECTED POEMS, 1947-1997 By Allen Ginsberg.

Ginsberg_2 Gay, in the lotus position, with a beard, wreathed in a cloud of marijuana smoke and renowned as the author of a “dirty” poem whose first public reading in a West Coast gallery was said to have turned the 1950s into the ’60s in a single night, Allen Ginsberg embodied, as a figure, some great cold war climax of human disinhibition. Ginsberg, the hang-loose anti-Ike. Ginsberg, the Organization Man unzipped. The vulnerable obverse of the Bomb. He had the belly of a Buddha, the facial hair of a Walt Whitman and — except for the ever-present black glasses that hinted at a conformist path not taken — he was easier to imagine naked than any Homo sapiens since Adam.

But it’s difficult to memorialize such a personage. When Ginsberg died in 1997, he was a 70-year-old beatnik, which made him a cultural antiquity. Now, however, almost a decade later (and exactly 50 years after the publication of “Howl”), he still seems too familiar for immortality. Wasn’t he, just a few days before yesterday, hanging out backstage with rock stars? Wasn’t he just marching against the Persian Gulf War? Come out, Allen Ginsberg — you’re around here somewhere. If Dylan is, then you must be.

More here.