In 1948, college student Allen Ginsberg was masturbating while reading William Blake in his apartment when he heard the English mystic, born 190 years earlier, whisper to his mind a few burning lines of poetry: “For everything that lives is holy, life delights in life,” read one line. Ginsberg sensed the spiritual-erotic encounter was an epiphany—”I’ve seen God!” he yelled from his fire escape in Harlem, and realized he would deliver Blake’s same message of free love to his own generation. It would be another seven years before Ginsberg wrote in his towering poem “Howl”: “Holy, Holy, Holy . . . Everything is holy! Everybody’s holy! Everywhere is holy! The madman is holy as you my soul are holy . . . Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!” Blake’s words were lighting fires across time.