Allen Ginsberg

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Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg "saw the best minds of his generation destroyed by madness" ("Howl"). He struggled through family conflicts and homosexuality throughout his adolescence, and then he went on to become one of the most read poets of his time. Allen was a strong man who never allowed anything get the best of him, including fear. He made a list of all his fears, large and small, and then worked his way through them, ridding himself of one fear after another (Mitchell 30). His influence on everyone he came in contact with carries on even after his death, and many writers dedicate their time to documenting his life as it affected them. Readers of his poetry say he has "a delicate lyrical style reminiscent of certain seventeenth century poets" (Brinnin 49). Allen Ginsberg, father of the beat generation, was the embodiment of the ideals of personal freedom, nonconformity, and the search for enlightenment.

Irwin Allen Ginsberg was born on June 3, 1926 in Newark, New Jersey, and soon after moved to Paterson, New Jersey ("Modern American Poetry"). He was his parent's second child, preceded by one brother, Eugene, who was named after a speaker his father was impressed with as a young child (Miles 30). His father, Louis Ginsberg, was a high school teacher and a moderate Jew Socialist, and Naomi, his mother, was a "radical communist and irrepressible nudist who went tragically insane during early adulthood" ("Literary Kicks"). Naomi grew up speaking Yiddish and learned to play the mandolin when she was young. She went to Barringer high school, which is where she met Louis Ginsberg in 1912, when they were both only seventeen (Miles 12). Often Naomi, who also suffered through recurrent epileptic seizures and a severe form of...

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Works Cited

"Allen Ginsberg." Literary Kicks. Feb 2002.

Brinnin, John Malcolm and Bill Read ed. Twentieth Century Poet: American and British (1900-1970). St. Louis: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1970.

Charters, Ann. "Allen Ginsberg's Life." Modern American Poets. Feb. 2002.

Ginsberg, Allen. "Howl." March 2000.

Kramer, Jane. Allen Ginsberg in America. New York: Fromm International Pub., 1997.

Miles, Barry. Ginsberg: A Biography. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989.

Mitchell, Adrian. "The Man Who Set Me on Fire." New Statesman April 1997: 30(2)

Mitgang, Herbert. Dangerous Dossiers: Exposing the Secret War Against America's Greatest

Authors. New York: D.I. Fine, 1988.
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