Can you imagine being a freshman in college and suddenly being introduced to Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs (sadly, neither of whom had beards)? Imagine if then you would go one to become not only a contemporary but perhaps one of the greatest writers of that generation. Allen Ginsberg did just that.
Born in Newark, Ginsberg became a fixture on the burgeoning scene of “Beat” writers who saw promise in American youth and their future. His writing took on an incredibly raw form that would lead his best known poem “Howl” to be banned multiple times before being defended under the first amendment.
At one point in the late 40’s, Ginsberg had what he called an auditory hallucination where he first believed to have heard the voice of God before realizing it was simply the voice of poet William Blake (also beardless). The multi-day event lead him to realize the interconnectedness of the universe that would later shape his belief in Buddhism. I can’t really say if this belief in pursuing perfection lead to his realization that facial hair is the ultimate form of masculinity but they certainly didn’t hurt Ginsberg’s belief in a long unruly beard.