Allen Ginsberg wrote "Many Loves" while working as a merchant seaman on a supply ship to the Arctic. He called it "a big queer poem" - and caused considerable unease both among his ‘lovers’ and the audiences he tried it out on after the success of "Howl".
Its reading in Birth Of The Cool conveys something true, whatever your sexual persuasion - the simple, heart-thumping fears and joys of being held for the first time - the gentle warmth between lover and loved, with or without your underpants. As Birth Of The Cool often tells, Allen Ginsberg resisted his homosexuality. "Many Loves" is a gay poem in essence. And gay love is what inspired Ginsberg most. Despite the decades of denial.