ALLEN GINSBERG'S. HOWL. A Literary and. Cultural Analysis. Grao en Lingua e Literatura Inglesa. Traballo de Fin de Grao. Curso / Alumna: Sara. Drooker created for the film Howl, in which parts of Ginsberg's epic Howl: A Graphic Novel combines the reflections of Allen Ginsberg. “Howl”--Allen Ginsberg (). Added to the National Registry: Essay by Cary O'Dell. Original album. Original label. Allen Ginsberg. “I thought I wouldn't.
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Howl. By Allen Ginsberg. For Carl Solomon. I. I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,. dragging themselves. HOWL FOR CARL SOLOMON. When he was younger, and I was younger, I used to know. Allen Ginsberg, a young poet living in Paterson, New Jersey. Howl. For Carl Solomon. I. I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by .. heroin are found in his letters to the author, Letters to Allen Ginsberg
The letters of Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti chart a year friendship and two storied careers. Don Share is the editor of Poetry Magazine, a poet and translator, and a gem of a human. He chats with Danez and Franny about the mechanics and ethos of One of the most respected Beat writers and acclaimed American poets of his generation, Allen Ginsberg was born on June 3, in Newark, New Jersey and raised in nearby Paterson, the son of an English teacher and Russian expatriate. Prose Home Harriet Blog. Visit Home Events Exhibitions Library.
Ginsberg repeats this strategy throughout Howl and Other Poems. Each strophe contains, on average, two fixed bases instead of the one he uses in the other main sections of the poem.
The poem also spells out what he is trying to do. It is an amplification of the little breath group, the common speech pattern measure. His stated goal was transcription from ordinary or bracketed thoughts , but he also clearly states his reliance on experimentation and study to develop a new form.
So again, there is the uniting of bracketed transcription with interpretive meaning: While the popular assumption is that meditation brings about visionary experience, Ginsberg said that meditation brings about an understanding and communication with the breath and ordinary mind.
The ability to understand the breath and to experience phenomena without distraction allowed Ginsberg clearer access to his natural speaking and breathing patterns, thus influencing the strophes he composed. While Ginsberg initially used drugs as a way to experiment with consciousness, his use tapered off over the years as meditation became his primary experimental method. The influence certainly was extraordinary.
This was mainly because for the drugs to act as a catalyst, the user had to continually use them. Obviously, continual use has the consequence of dependence and burn out, so the productivity the drugs provided was easily exhaustible. Ginsberg saw drugs as a way to amplify consciousness and awareness of external stimuli Best Minds Because of this, it is possible to find drug influence in all of his early poetry.
In a sense, the drug experience is akin to the child daydreaming. Will he later hallucinate his gods? Howl 54 Unless given specific notation that drug use was responsible for a line or an image, it is impossible to say if a line or an image was constructed with the assistance of drugs.
That being said, it is clear Ginsberg viewed drugs as an aid to amplify his visionary insights— to help him hallucinate his gods. As Ginsberg moved away from drug use, he deepened his religious studies, particularly his study of Buddhism. But even before he became interested in eastern thought, his poetry was concerned with religion and spirituality. The poetry is related to themes of truth and enlightenment and preoccupied with discovery of experience beyond the actual. Ginsberg records the experience with clear, surreal imagery: Put all together, drug use and meditation were both used as attempts to better understand the individual consciousness and to connect with the natural breath.
These methods were used to produce a more natural poetry through spontaneous composition. The contradiction here is that everything produced on the page was the result of both spontaneous feeling and learned and practiced ways of producing and transcribing spontaneous feeling.
It is a blatant contradiction, but such is Ginsberg. Very well. I contradict myself. I am large. There has been very little written about what came after. In , he complained, Generally the reviews have been about either the history or the historical significance or the persona of the author, after many years of complaint that the persona of the author has gotten in the way of the poetry, finally when presented with nothing but the poetry, nobody is paying attention to it.
Abrams Ginsberg was not wrong about this. Even though his work after and especially after changed considerably, there are still lightning moments of illumination and poetic prowess to be found. The poetry is still highly imagistic with almost religious dedication to phanopoeia. Some poems are simply long lists of images described with mystic adjectives and presented sometimes in the kind of detail one would find in a modern realism novel. He uses his economized voice, running objects together without use of articles or prepositions, and he does not offer commentary on the images he presents: The extended use of phanopoeia brings the reader into the concrete world in an imagistic way, and the use of fragmented pieces of memory adds a post-modern realism to the presentation of thought.
The poem reads like the transcription of a descriptive explanation by a tour guide. The lines are written with attention to the ear, and when Ginsberg reads them aloud, the rhythm flows naturally, just as he intends.
The melopoeia is in the assonance and in the power of the voice reading. Because the breath lines follow a natural cadence, the effect combined with the imagery in the lines creates an atmosphere like a vortex, spinning and overloaded the way phenomena spins and overloads the senses while driving fast and unencumbered, as Ginsberg was when he wrote the poem.
There is also a considerable amount of internal rhyme that his voice stresses aloud: Being such an important poem to Ginsberg and one of his most striking, it is strange that the poem has not received more critical attention. The poem certainly contains social context, but it is more obviously concerned with the experience of experience and the workings of the mind.
The lines mostly follow an amphibrachic meter with trochees bracketing the opening simile, and the imagery is purely imagistic. This is also a later example of heavy juxtaposition, as the soft flesh is juxtaposed with the metal explosion, creating a lightning moment of realization and understanding once the two clear and strong images are read together.
The poem attempts to locate the self within nature.
It is a mix of Buddhist meditation, drug use, and Romantic fascination with sublime nature. The poem is his late masterpiece, a cerebral presentation of the breath, and powerful in its ability to return to the classical ode structure while pushing the form into a Whitman-like spiral. The poem becomes almost frantic in this section, economizing sharply and placing the lines in real physical locations, as Ginsberg commonly did.
The last lines of the section, in particular, are striking in their combination of phanopoeia, melopoeia, and logopoeia: The first line of the couplet is a drawn-out breath with strong imagery, and the second line is a short breath to punctuate the thought, using mostly simpler vocabulary and fewer poetic effects.
Punctuation is also dropped in favor of natural, juxtaposed rhythms. Ginsberg has many poems specifically about the breath, as well. Some of his poems were written in accordance to meditative breath. Instead, the poem uses long lines to list a mixture of thought and object with few conjunctions between nouns.
By focusing on the breath, Ginsberg was attempting to produce meditative poetry that could, if read properly, create the effect of awareness of self simply through the reproduction and identification with a common rhythm. Ginsberg did not wish to be defined by one aspect of his being, so though he was open and proud of his homosexuality, he did not want to be known as a gay poet.
Instead, he wished for his sexuality to be a part of his poetry because it was a part of his life and his thoughts, just as everything else he wrote of. After all, Ginsberg has a number of poems in his final collection that focus on excrement, snot, and urine. Everything he wrote was designed to present actual life and actual thought, even if that meant honest transcriptions of the taboo.
While those two poems may not necessarily be Ginsberg at his technical best, there are two exceptional poems about homosexual sex and love that are presented with very tender, vulnerable imagery and tone. It describes a sexual encounter with Neal Cassady. The poem starts explicitly and honestly: The lines are long and intended to be read slowly, the descriptions are unusually metaphorical for Ginsberg, and there is no rush or economization.
It is an exercise in form meeting content: And yet, Ginsberg manages to keep the poem light, as he often did, through his use of humor.
Whereas the former is confessional, romantic, and almost an ode with long Whitmanian lines and layered metaphors, the latter is an eight-line poem, heavily economized, and heavy on nouns. That is something that prevails from to , in all of his work.
Even when he was supercharged and fuming, railing at everything in the world he thought Moloch, there was beneath the poetry a reverence for the holy world, the hope that the world and humanity could one day find sympathy, and the many loves of the multitudinous man. Blended together, the form is a new sort of post-modern presentation of the mind with all its fragments and multitudes presented simultaneously in a way that might not be natural for the page.
Eliot once argued that the poet is made up of the ghosts of past artists, yet the poet moves beyond the past by incorporating it and altering it in his own poetry. Allen Ginsberg is this concept embodied. Ginsberg took all the lessons from his mentors and incorporated them into something new—into a new poetry of realistic hyper-awareness of thought and experience.
His is a voice defined by the past and the present, both reflective and progressive, uncensored and truer to actual mind thought than anything before it, for better or worse. It is easy to read Ginsberg and be swept away by the power of the voice—by the raw strength of his expression and by the explicit portrayal of uncanny truths and taboo subject matter, or to be shocked by his candor.
It is easy to focus on the content and miss the spiritual, technical, and rhythmic effects his verse has on the ear and the soul. Popular responses to Ginsberg have fallen into this trap. Critical voices have too. But this view is short sighted and superficial. It is time to see Ginsberg philosophically and spiritually; time to see and understand the ways he defined consciousness, diagnosed consciousness, transcribed consciousness, and manipulated consciousness.
It is time to see how he took on the role of transcendental phenomenologist to identify and describe the world as defined by conscious experience, and it is time to see how he composed in a way that allowed the reader to interpret consciousness from transcription. Ginsberg himself was something of a detached observer, more stable than the others, portraying clearly though with sympathy the screw-ups of those around him, even envying them their loss of control, yet in his own way being cautionary, undeceived by their pitiable attempts to rationalize all that insane behavior.
After all, Ginsberg survived, lasting long enough to teach future generations about the Beats and to compile and record lectures, manuscripts, observations, and recordings. He became the steward of the generation. Ginsberg was very much in the thick of it. It focuses on the social aspect—the rebellion aspect.
It does not mention the exploration of consciousness. It does not mention the fascination with mantra, repetition, and meditation.
In this poem, he lists three pages of reasons why he writes. Some of the reasons Ginsberg lists should be familiar, as most of them relate to his mentors and what they taught him: He speaks to the multitudes of the human spirit: Very well then I contradict myself I am large, I contain multi- tudes.
I write poetry because my head contains 10, thoughts. I write poetry because no reason no because. The idea is to merge the concepts learned in the modernist era into the concepts being explored during the post-modern era. What results is a new kind of verse, located within its historical moment but flexible enough to evolve over time.
It is time to delve deeper into his work. It is time to recognize the entire scope of his poetry as worthy of inclusion in the canon of essential American verse and as a crucial contribution to the continuing maturity of the American artistic voice. Still Controversial: Breslin, James. Cogan, John. Ginsberg, Allen. Interview and Poetry Reading: Collected Poems Harper Perennial, First Thought: Conversations with Allen Ginsberg, edited by Michael Schumacher.
U of Minnesota P, Howl and Other Poems. City Lights Books, Interview with William Buckley Jr. Buckley Jr. YouTube, 25 Jan. Mid-Fifties , edited by Gordon Ball. Harper Collins, Spontaneous Mind: Selected Interviews , edited by David Carter. Perennial, The Best Minds of My Generation: Grove P, Jackson, Brian. Surreal Impressions in the Poetry of Allen Ginsberg. Lopate, Phillip.
Podhoretz, Norman. The Visionary Poetics of Allen Ginsberg. Ross-Erickson, Publishers, Prothero, Stephen. The Beat Movement as Spiritual Protest. Smith, David Woodruff. Zalta, Winter , plato. Sokolowski, Robert. Introduction to Phenomenology. Cambridge UP, Stephenson, Gregory. A Reading. Contemporary Literary Criticism Online. Thurley, Geoffrey. The Whole Man In. Originally published in The American Moment: The Portable Beat Reader.
Penguin, Hoffman-Hoye, Sherri. Holmes, John Clellon. Historical New York Times. Hunsberger, Bruce. Hyde, Lewis, editor. On the Poetry of Allen Ginsberg. U of Michigan P, Google Books. Lardas, John. The Bop Apocalypse: U of Illinois P, Lyon, George W. Angel Headed Hipster. Periodicals Archive Online. Merrill, Thomas F.
Allen Ginsberg, Rev. Twayne Publishers, Morgan, Bill. I Celebrate Myself: Penguin, 25 Sept. The Response to Allen Ginsberg, A Bibliography of Secondary Sources. Greenwood, 30 Mar. Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters. Moramarco, Fred.
EBSCOhost, doi: Raskin, Jonah. American Scream: U of California P, Free Press, , pp. In the introduction, Morgan states: During that period, I managed to track down nearly everything that he had ever published and a good deal of what had been printed about him. It was a mammoth task. Every day, as I walked to the apartment that served both as Allen's home and office, I wondered what new treasures I'd uncover.
After I sold his archive to Stanford University for a million dollars, Allen referred everyone with questions about their papers to me" p. Journals Mid-Fifties: Gordon Ball.
HarperCollins, The Origins of Howl and Kaddish. David M. Gale, A Biography. Virgin Publishing Ltd.
Selected Essays Bill Morgan. New York: Harper Collins, Archived from the original on Retrieved CS1 maint: Macmillan — via Google Books. By Fred Kaplan , Slate, Sept. In Lewis Hyde.
On the poetry of Allen Ginsberg. University of Michigan Press. September 23, The New York Times. Huuto ja meteli , p. Barry Miles. Harper Perennial, On the Poetry of Allen Ginsberg. The Book of Martyrdom and Artifice: First Journals and Poems Juanita Lieberman-Plimpton and Bill Morgan. Da Capo Press, I Celebrate Myself: Penguin, Conversations with William S.
University Press of Mississippi, Howl and Other Poems. City Lights Publishers, Ecstasy of the Beats: On the Road to Understanding. Dundurn, The Beats: A Literary Reference. Beat Down to Your Soul. Ann Charters. Penguin Books, Spontaneous Mind: Selected Interviews David Carter. Perennial, , pg. Boston Phoenix. July 17, Archived from the original on February 9, Retrieved October 16, The Best of ".
San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on January 22, Retrieved January 22, In Kostelanetz, Richard; Flemming, Robert. Writings on Glass: Essays, Interviews, Criticism. Retrieved 23 October Retrieved September 29, Mad Generation Loss is a project exploring media encoding and the ways in which imperfect copies can descend into a kind of digital madness. It takes an audio file—here, a recording of Allen Ginsberg reading an excerpt from his seminal poem "Howl"—and adds another layer of mp3 encoding to each second of the sound.
Ginsberg said it revealed to him the interconnectedness of all existence. He said his drug experimentation in many ways was an attempt to recapture that feeling. Part of the reason Ginsberg was suspended in his sophomore year  from Columbia University was because he wrote obscenities in his dirty dorm window. He suspected the cleaning woman of being an anti-Semite because she never cleaned his window, and he expressed this feeling in explicit terms on his window, by writing "Fuck the Jews", and drawing a swastika.
He also wrote a phrase on the window implying that the president of the university had no testicles. Bickford's and Fugazzi's were New York spots where the Beats hung out. Ginsberg worked briefly at Fugazzi's. Burroughs lived in Tangier, Morocco at the time Ginsberg wrote "Howl". He also experienced withdrawal from heroin , which he wrote about in several letters to Ginsberg. John of the Cross telepathy and bop kabbalah because the cosmos instinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas ".
Mystics and forms of mysticism in which Ginsberg at one time had an interest.
A specific reference to Bill Cannastra , who actually did most of these things and died when he "fell out of the subway window". From "Who copulated ecstatic and insatiate" to "Who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad stolen night-cars, N.
A reference to Neal Cassady N. A specific reference to Herbert Huncke 's condition after being released from Riker's Island. Friend Bill Keck actually built harpsichords. Ginsberg had a conversation with Keck's wife shortly before writing "Howl". This is a reference to the apartment in which Ginsberg lived when he had his Blake vision.
His roommate, Russell Durgin, was a theology student and kept his books in orange crates. A reference to Ginsberg's Columbia classmate Louis Simpson , an incident that happened during a brief stay in a mental institution for post-traumatic stress disorder. A specific reference to Tuli Kupferberg. Many of the Beats went to Mexico City to "cultivate" a drug "habit", but Ginsberg claims this is a direct reference to Burroughs and Bill Garver, though Burroughs lived in Tangiers at the time  as Ginsberg says in "America" "Burroughs is in Tangiers I don't think he'll come back it's sinister" .
John Hollander was an alumnus of Harvard. Ginsberg's mother Naomi lived near Woodlawn Cemetery. A reference to Ginsberg's mother Naomi, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. A specific reference to Carl Solomon. An art movement emphasizing nonsense and irrationality. In the poem, it is the subject of a lecture that is interrupted by students throwing potato salad at the professors.
This ironically mirrored the playfulness of the movement but in a darker context. A Post WW1 cultural movement, Dada stood for 'anti-art', it was against everything that art stood for. Founded in Zurich, Switzerland. The meaning of the word means two different definitions; "hobby horse" and "father", chosen randomly. The Dada movement spread rapidly. These are mental institutions associated with either Ginsberg's mother Naomi or Carl Solomon: Ginsberg met Solomon at Columbia Presbyterian Psychological Institute, but "Rockland" was frequently substituted for "rhythmic euphony".