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Howl and Other Poems (City Lights Pocket…
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Howl and Other Poems (City Lights Pocket Poets, No. 4) (original 1956; edition 2001)

by Allen Ginsberg

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3,955451,297 (4.03)98
Member:timoheuer
Title:Howl and Other Poems (City Lights Pocket Poets, No. 4)
Authors:Allen Ginsberg
Info:City Lights Publishers (2001), Ausgabe: Reissue, Paperback, 57 Seiten
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:gedichtband, gedichte, beat generation, englische literatur, amerikanische literatur, englischsprachige literatur

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Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg (1956)

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English (44)  French (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
I'm not sure it gets any better than Sunflower Sutra ingested while read aloud.

"and the gray Sunflower poised against the sunset, crackly bleak
and dusty with the smut and smog and smoke of olden
locomotives in its eye-

corolla of bleary spikes pushed down and broken like a battered
crown, seeds fallen out of its face, soon-to-be-toothless
mouth of sunny air, sunrays obliterated on its hairy head
like a dried wire spiderweb,

leaves stuck out like arms out of the stem, gestures from the
sawdust root, broke pieces of plaster fallen out of the black
twigs, a dead fly in its ear,

Unholy battered old thing you were, my sunflower O my soul,
I loved you then!...

How many flies bussed round you innocent of your grim, while
you cursed the heavens of the railroad and your flower soul?

Poor dead flower? when did you forget you were a flower?...

-We're not our skin of grime, we're not our dread bleak dusty
imageless locomotive, we're all beautiful gold sunflowers
inside, we're blessed by our own seed & golden hairy naked
accomplishment-bodies growing into mad black formal sun-
flowers in the sunset,..."

I can't even sit back from this poem and call it beautiful or wise because they're just too simplistic. They merit something akin to soul-soaked, edible...
( )
  lamotamant | Jun 23, 2016 |
Many say that this is nothing more than an overrated, incomprehensible bunch of words about sex, alcohol and drugs. And they are right. But poetry is not about words, it's about the feeling they are capable of evoke. And Howl evoke a lot of feelings, at least for me. The eternal search of the meaning of life, the conflicted relation between the fear and mystification of death, the wonders and terrors of growing old.
“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, [...]
who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks fell on their heads every day for the next decade,
who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccessfully, gave up and were forced to open antique stores where they thought they were growing old and cried,
who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinister intelligent editors, or were run down by the drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality.”

If you want to change the world but don't know how, if you want to leave your mark but fear you can't, if you are afraid of waking up one day with your dreams and ideals long forgotten and trapped in the mundane routine of the world. Then, you can relate with this "overrated, incomprehensible bunch of words about sex, alcohol and drugs", and that's all that matters.
“We're not our skin of grime, we're not our dread bleak dusty imageless locomotive, we're all beautiful golden sunflowers inside,
we're blessed by our own seed & golden hairy naked accomplishment- bodies growing into mad black formal sunflowers in the sunset.”


Leído para el reto 12 months-12 classic: Julio. ( )
  Glire | Jun 22, 2016 |
"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."

If that doesn't set your reading hair on fire, then this book isn't for you. If so, read it and howl. I had the great fortune of reading it for the first time at City Lights Bookstore in SF. ( )
  evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
I wound up picking this for a book challenge (as a formerly banned work, and I can see why it would have been banned in the 50's) in part because I hadn't really read any beat authors and partly because I don't read enough poetry. I came into it with the vague idea that beat poetry was probably not my scene, and yeah, based on this work at least I was right. It felt pretentiously hip, or maybe that's how it's supposed to feel, but it doesn't make me want to read more. ( )
  duchessjlh | Mar 16, 2016 |
I can't believe I've never read this before, given how much of the Beat writers' works I've consumed. But I realized, reading the first section, that I only knew the first famous line. I picked this because it fit the PopSugar category of banned books, and reading it I can definitely see why. A poem of this form, with explicit descriptions of drug use, homosexuality, and other illegal or frowned-upon activities, would definitely land with a thunderclap in mid-1950s America.

That said, when you separate it from its historical importance and Beat-Generation cult status and focus on it as a poem, it's really, really good. I can't even say I fully understand it. I looked at a Wikipedia page on the poem (I know, I know) and it explained some of the references and that helped. Many of the allusions are to his friends and fellow writers, like Neal Cassady, Lucien Carr, Jack Kerouac, etc. But even if you don't know that, the style and the language is hypnotic and compelling.

The other poems are justly acclaimed as well. Walt Whitman in the supermarket is great, and also requires multiple readings.

I don't know why I don't read more poetry. It's the ultimate slow reading. And the good ones are so powerful.

The full text of the poem, as well as the last stanza (the "footnote"), are available at the Poetry Foundation website.

Highly recommended. ( )
  Sunita_p | Mar 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Allen Ginsbergprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, William CarlosIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Howl (2010IMDb)
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To--

Jack Kerouac, new Buddha of American prose, who spit forth intelligence into eleven books written in half the number of years (1951-1956)--On the Road, Visions of Neal, Dr. Sax, Springtime Mary, The Subterraneans, San Francisco Blues, Some of the Dharma, Book of Dreams, Wake Up, Mexico City Blues, and Visions of Gerard--creating a spontaneous bop prosody and original classic literature. Several phrases and the title of Howl are taken from him.

William Seward Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch, an endless novel which will drive everybody mad.

Neal Cassady, author of The First Third, an autobiography (1949) which enlightened Buddha.

All these books are published in Heaven.
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I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0872860175, Paperback)

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".

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:02 -0400)

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