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Howl

by Allen Ginsberg
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Product Details

  • Publisher: City Lights Publishers
  • Publishing date: 01/01/2001
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780872860179
  • ISBN: 0872860175

Synopsis

The epigraph for Howl is from Walt Whitman: "Unscrew the locks from the doors!/Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!" Announcing his intentions with this ringing motto, Allen Ginsberg published a volume of poetry which broke so many social taboos that copies were impounded as obscene, and the publisher, poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, was arrested. The court case that followed found for Ginsberg and his publisher, and the publicity made both the poet and the book famous. Ginsberg went on from this beginning to become a cultural icon of sixties radicalism. This works seminal place in the culture is indicated in Czeslaw Milosz's poetic tribute to Ginsberg: "Your blasphemous howl still resounds in a neon desert where the human tribe wanders, sentenced to unreality".

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  • Ginsberg's Triumph
    From Amazon

    Allen Ginsberg is considered one of the great poets of our time, and almost without exception is considered the best poet of the Beat Generation. Both of these statements are true, in my opinion. The only beat poet who comes close is Gregory Corso, though they were poets with completely different styles, making them difficult to compare. Howl is extremely poetic and artistic, but in a way that envelops and expresses thoughts at a basic human level. The style is raw, loud, cacephonic, even vulgar in a good way because it is real. As you read Howl, you see and feel the joy, pain, and anger of humans living in the modern world, as they struggle through the crowd and the buildings and the machinery that make a this world operate. Howl is real, human, raw, and any number of other adjectives that are not necessary, because the message comes through with a serious reading of the poem. The rest of the poems are equally great, but the book is defined by its namesake poem.

  • Very Good!
    From Amazon

    Loved it! See also George and Condi: The Last Decayed: A Collection of Poems from the Last Decade Beaver Tales and a Canada Goosing: Poems Illustrating a Uniquely Canadian Perspective (See ArtisanPacificPublishing Website).

  • The Seminal Poem of the 20th Century
    From Amazon

    In my mind, this is the best poem written in the 20th century, with T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland" bringing up a close second. With Howl, Ginsberg totally reinvented the way poetry was written, and you can clearly see this influence in the slam poets of today. Howl is both raw and reserved, for while it punches you in the face with graphic detail it holds back key emotional points that leave one questioning. This is a very emotional poem, but these emotional points that I speak of are left vague for a very important reason: so that every single reader draws their own conclusions and so the reader is forced to bring more of themselves into the poem. Like "The Wasteland", Howl is not a poem you can easily read in emotional detachment; for, if you do, you miss the key elements of the poem. But, if you are searching for a poem that will first drag you to the lowest of the low and then, gradually, slowly but surely, bring you back up to where you can finally see daylight again, this is the poem for you. It is a sad poem, but it is also a poem that has the ability to take a sufficiently imaginative person from the depths of suicidal depression (which I know) and bring them back to where they are able to function as some kind of human being again. In short, this poem gets a bad rap, but it is essentially optimistic, although it starts off from a pessimistic viewpoint. If you look, the beauty is there; but if you approach it with preconceived judgments, you will most certainly not see the poem's bright side.

  • Interesting to analyze, but in my opinion, not too good poetry.
    From Amazon

    I got this little book because it kept being mentioned on several sources I was reading on Queer studies (more of a personal interest, as my professional research is not in this field) as one of the most influential gay male poems in the 20th century. I read it twice, the second time forcing myself to make sure I was actually feeling this way about the book: Honestly, how can you call this good poetry? It has some good things: It is not apologetic at all because of the expression of gay love, what was probably quite a bold move for an artist in the American 1950s, and in some ways it does critic the conformist feeling of the era. So, I do understand that, if this was the first main stream poetry book to have been published with this message, that it is considered relevant, not necessarily for its quality, but for its boldness, and plainly for being the first. On the other hand, there is no rhythm, no rhyme, it feels more like reading prose than poetry. Maybe it's because I was born on a completely different historical moment, but this book does not really evoke any meaningful feelings in me.

  • Allen Ginsberg Howl and other poems
    From Amazon

    For some reason I thought this was going to be a large collection of poems by Allen Ginsberg. I can say I've been a fan for quite sometime. This was not the case. In fact, This book only consists of 57 pages. Its a very small book so I don't care how famous Howl is or if it's being made into a movie with James Franco. This is not worth the purchase of 6 or more dollars.

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