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The Poem That Changed America: Howl Fifty…

The Poem That Changed America: "Howl" Fifty Years Later

by Jason Shinder

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This collection of essays goes beyond the text to the meaning and impact on each individual touched in some way by this marvelous poem.. The blurb on the back cover states, "... the poem also contained a strange, subversive power that continues to exert its influence to this day." That's not hyperbole. Every time I read "Howl" I feel closer to the text and to the "true me" screaming to be let out. It's as though Ginsberg reaches out and tells me, "You can do this, you can be this, you can ...." ( )
  AuntieClio | Nov 2, 2013 |
You might think Howl is dated and no longer relevant in our age of technological wonder. You would be wrong, though. Not only is such a thought incorrect, but oddly enough it's just possible that Howl has yet to take its full affect. This book opened up the meaning of Howl, not just by explaining its prose, but by setting the poem in context to our society over half a century after it was first published. This book ensures that Howl will be --and indeed should always be-- fresh and poignant in our lives. ( )
  sgarnell | Jul 10, 2012 |
This book of various contemporary writers' responses to Howl is highly recommended. Eliot Katz has a particularly powerful essay, 'Radical Eyes: Political Poetics and 'Howl' ' on pp. 183-211.
  HowlAtCLP | Nov 4, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374173443, Paperback)

A tribute to Ginsberg's signature work, which stirred a generation of angel-headed hipsters to cultural rebellion.

In 1956, City Lights, a small San Francisco bookstore, published Allen Ginsberg's Howl and Other Poems with its trademark black-and-white cover. The original edition cost seventy-five cents, but there was something priceless about its eponymous piece. Although it gave a voice to the new generation that came of age in the conservative years following World War II, the poem also conferred a strange, subversive power that continues to exert its influence to this day. Ginsberg went on to become one of the most eminent and celebrated writers of the second half of the twentieth century, and "Howl" became the critical axis of the worldwide literary, cultural, and political movement that would be known as the Beat generation.

The year 2006 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of "Howl," and The Poem That Changed America will celebrate and shed new light on this profound cultural work. With new essays by many of today's most distinguished writers, including Frank Bidart, Andrei Codrescu, Vivian Gornick, Phillip Lopate, Daphne Merkin, Rick Moody, Robert Pinsky, and Luc Sante, The Poem That Changed America reveals the pioneering influence of "Howl" down through the decades and its powerful resonance today.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:50 -0400)

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Reflections from America's prominent writers on the seminal poem "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg, on the eve of its fiftieth anniversary.

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