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Howl and Other Poems (City Lights Pocket…

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

by Allen Ginsberg

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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
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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Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Although I couldn't remember a specific moment in my life when I personally had taken the time to pick up and read Ginsberg myself, I think, that as with so many other important works of cultural literature, I must have somehow absorbed much of it through my skin over the years.

I had taken for granted that I liked Ginsberg.
But had I actually read him or not?
This situation clearly needed to be resolved.

So, the other day I picked up a copy of Howl and started to read.
Immediately, I was reminded of the first time I read Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood, and I knew from the first few lines that this was definitely my scene. Quickly, my over-active imagination started playing cinema to the plain text which my eyes perceived.
After a few pages, I got greedy though; and decided to see if I could track down a recording of Ginsberg himself reading the poem out loud. In hindsight, that was probably my great sin.
I think that by this stage I had hyped the whole experience up to such a degree of spiritual ecstasy, that if the word of God had flown from his lips carried forth by a choir of angels or sirens sang sweet verses to my ears it would have been a let down.
Ginsberg's reading by no means lessens my appreciation of his work, and like I mentioned, my unrealistically high personal expectations of the mans own voice somehow echoing the power of his verse is my own fault not his. Still, it was not all bad listening to his recitals.
Ginsberg's reading of 'America' was much more revealing to listen to than I got from simply reading it to myself the first time.

By the end, I both enjoyed listening to him and reading the book of poems myself.

'Howl'' was everything I'd anticipated it to be, dark and full of melancholy - just what I'd wanted.
'America' on the other hand was full of cheek and wit and had me laughing out loud!

All in all, I can now say with certainly that "I like Ginsberg", what's more, I'll be seeking out some of his other works, and I'll definitely be reading 'Howl' again before this month is through. ( )
  Sylak | Apr 21, 2015 |
This is definitely a must-read, thanks to its great significance in the realm of literature, but is also very strange and hard to evaluate. It's definitely unlike anything you ever read before, in an awesome way. There will likely be some parts that you love the sound and rhythm of, as well as some parts that weird you out. In any case, you will come away with a greater appreciation for the significance of what you have read than you could ever have by just simply hearing about it. ( )
1 vote TiffanyAK | Dec 31, 2014 |
While I didn't understand every word, I felt the power of them all, and was strongly moved. The opening line of "Howl" is thrilling and the historic signifigance of it is overwhelming! The rawness if the language! And the other poems rolled me too! Such beautiful power! Holy Allen - forget your underwear - you're free! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Nov 25, 2014 |
I consider "Howl" the finest poem penned on this Earth. Passionate, full of camaraderie and vivid images, a rant of life among young artists who cling to one another in devotion and friendship for a lifetime.
  AlisonWinfieldBurns | Jul 17, 2014 |
Oh, my beloved Howl. After each reading I find more depth, more which speaks to me. Allen Ginsberg has found a permanent place in my heart. ( )
1 vote AuntieClio | Nov 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (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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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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