"Howl": How the Poem Came to Be and How it Made Allen Ginsberg Famous
When Allen Ginsberg sat down at a secondhand typewriter in 1955 and began the first of his many subsequent drafts of "Howl," he had no idea of the controversy it would cause. I fact, he didn't even set out to write a formal poem and especially not one that he would consider publishing. Instead, what the 29 year old began would materialize into his most famous literary work and the cause of a much publicized trial debating the first amendment right to freedom of speech. The events of Ginsberg's life and the events going on in the world around him inspired and prepared him to write "Howl," but perhaps one of the most important factors contributing to the poem and the author's fame was the surge in interest in writing, reading, and listening to poetry, which came to be known as the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance.
The poem that caused the great controversy over obscenity in literature is a four part series of separate works, written mostly at different times that complete a series of ideas, which Judge Clayton Horn considered to have socially redeeming value. In the author's own words, the poem
is an 'affirmation' of individual experience of God, sex, drugs, absurdity etc. Part I deals sympathetically with individual cases. Part II describes and rejects the Moloch of society which confounds and suppresses individual experience and forces the individual to consider himself mad if he does not reject his own deepest senses. Part III is an expression of sympathy and identification with C.S. [Carl Solomon] who is in the madhouse -- saying that his madness basically his rebellion against Moloch and I am with him, and extending my hand in union. This is an affir...
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...kness” hallucinations of madness. While the setting emphasizes searching for freedom despite the forms of confinement throughout the bittersweet stories, lets us view each characters life as it portrays the author’s time in which they lived, showing us there setting of life. Despite each characters will power giving them a hope of being liberated, somewhere along the lines of the story, we can conclude that freedom is just another metaphor of false hope.
Allen Ginsberg was a Jewish American poet, who was born in June 3 1929, he’s poetry vigorously opposed such topics as militarism, economic materialism and sexual- repression. Ginsberg is best known for his epic poem "Howl", in which he denounced what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States.
A few cases in which this poem is particularly relevant in today’s society, apart from just the general hipster culture, is the fact that in many ways we’re faced with similar issues of social oppression of certain sects of the population, homophobia, discord amongst different cultures and excessive consumerism – all these being matters than Ginsberg felt strongly about and sought to fight against.
“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night.” The opening lines of Howl, by Allan Ginsberg, melodiously encapsulates the beat generation. The beats alluded to by the verbatim ,“The best minds”, are a group of idiosyncratic poets whom through the instrument of prose(driven by spontaneity and a primal lifestyle) , orchestrated a rebellion against the conservative beliefs and literary ideals of the 1950s. Howl, utilizing picturesque imagery, expounds holistically upon the instigator of the movement in culmination with personal experiences of beat members. Accordingly “Howl” evokes feelings of raw emotional intensity that reflects the mindset in which the poem was produced. The piece is structured into three stanzas, sacrificing temporal order for emphasis on emotional progression. The first sequence rambles of rampant drug forages and lewd sexual encounters, eliciting intonations of impetuous madness, one ostensibly hinging upon on a interminable need for satiation of hedonistic desires. Concordantly the following stanza elucidates upon the cause of the aforementioned impulsive madness (i.e corruption of the materialistic society motivated by capitalism), conveying an air of hostility coalesced with quizzical exasperation. Yet, the prose concludes by turning away from the previous negative sentiments. Furthermore, Ginsberg embraces the once condemned madness in a voice of jubilation, rhapsodizing about a clinically insane friend while ascertaining the beats are with him concerning this state of der...
Nadel, Ira Bruce. Various Positions: A Life of Leonard Cohen, New York: Random House Inc., 2007. Print.
I read the book Lonesome Howl, which is a drama book and a love story. The book was about two main character whose names are Jake and Lucy. They lived with their family in two different farms, but in the same community besides a mountain covered in a big wicked forest where many rumors took place. The farmers around the place lost many sheep’s since a feral beast. It was a quite small community and a lot of tales was told about it to make it even more interesting. Lucy was 16 years old and lived with her strict father and a coward of mom who didn’t dare to stand up for her daughter when she were being mistreated and slapped around by her father. Lucy was a retired and quite teenager because of that. She had a younger brother whose name was Peter. Peter was being bullied in school and couldn’t read since the education of Peter was different compare too Lucy’s. She helped him in school and stood up for the mean bullies, although all she got in return was him talking bullshit about her with their cruel dad which resulted with her getting thrash.
In Ken Kesey's One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, the author refers to the many struggles people individually face in life. Through the conflict between Nurse Ratched and McMurphy, the novel explores the themes of individuality and rebellion against conformity. With these themes, Kesey makes various points which help us understand which situations of repression can lead an individual to insanity. These points include: the effects of sexual repression, woman as castrators, and the pressures we face from society to conform. Through these points, Kesey encourages the reader to consider that people react differently in the face of repression, and makes the reader realize the value of alternative states of perception, rather than simply writing them off as "crazy."
...g with many individuals, are alienated and in turn, wish for extreme change and even another life. Ginsberg conveys a vital message that carries through to the year 2010 even more. Materialism does not make a person, it is insignificant. What is imperative is the natural world; beauty, individuality, and real human interactions as these are concepts that make an individual.