One of Allen Ginsberg's most famous (and I think most powerful) poems is 'Kaddish', written for his dead mother, Naomi, who struggled with mental illness for much of her married life. He sent a copy to Louis when it was written.
Louis replied as follows:
September 18, 1960
I read your "Kaddish" with tears. It's a magnicent, heart-wrenching poem!!!
First take out on p. 17 references to "my affair." It's too embarassing and will prove troublesome to me
p. 4 "fear of Louis" ambiguous: and "paranoiac fear"
p. 13 delete "homosexuality" – why give power to calumniators?
p. 24 Remove "Louis found himself a girl" too embarassing to me
p. 35 Take out "homosexuality" – You'll be exposed to sensation mongers: Why court trouble?
p. 39 "long black beard around vagina" – delete: too obscene for reference re: mother.
Some eight or nine years later in a newspaper article, 'My Son the Poet', he had this to say about Kaddish:
When, after a number of years, Naomi died from a stroke in a New York sanitarium, Allen was beside himself with grief, no matter how much he had foreseen the end. He was then on the West Coast, and he wrote his long elegy on the death of his mother, the poem called "Kaddish," the Hebrew word denoting prayer for the dead. In it, he combined Biblical prayers and Walt Whitman-like lines. When I read the poem, I cringed in places, for it was too naked, too raw, too uninhibited. But there were many fine passages which rise to emotional, poetic utterance in his recapitulation of his mother's life and her death. Allen's writing of "Kaddish" gave him a vent for his grief, a safety-valve for his pent-up anguish so that the poem was a purgative and an exorcism of his grief-raged heart...
Here is a poem of Louis' on the subject of Naomi, from his collection, Morning in Spring.
To a Mother, Buried
Naomi, when the world swam away,
And the windows grew blind,
Were you thinking about who searched endless corridors
Of sanitariums, hoping to find
His old lost love?
Now with earth above,
Do you know that your lawyer son, Eugene,
Often will start
At the grief, shaking
The dungeon of his heart?
If only you knew
How your poet son, Allen,
Raves over the world,
Crazed for the love of you!