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Visitors' Comments about:

Howl

Allen Ginsberg

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2004-08-30
Added by: Diana M
I have read this piece several times before and what struck me most was the sense of regret. People seem to overlook this. He seems ,to me at least, to be lamenting those genius minds that were lost to drugs , illness and decadence after the beat movement lost momentun.
Changed my mind
2004-09-17
Added by: Lisa G.
I've hated this poem for years; I never thought it should qualify as a poem cuz it seemed like just a long list of crazy and obscene things the hippies did. What always amazed me was the fact that Ginsberg could remember so many of these things. Maybe he wasn't on as many drugs as everyone else?

Anyhow, today after reading the poem again in order to remember exactly what it was I hated about it, I decided that this is a poem, and probably as real and raw as a poem can be. I think it does express the tragic mentality of the era better than almost anyone has ever done.

p.s. I haven't changed my mind about "The Red Wheelbarrow;" I still don't like it.
2004-09-22
Added by: HJL
The ravings coming from a drug-riddled brain and a neurotic compulsion for rebellion do sound somewhat poetic. As for the label "hero" that's a strectch! Heros are people you aspire to be like, and allen ginsberg is definilty not my role model. As for his politics, I would quickly flee the country if the majority of it considered Ginsberg's views to be the desired state of our country. Ginsberg's works offer an interesting perspective on history but they are not paragons of poetry.
2004-10-18
Added by: Drew H
In writing Howl, Allen Ginsberg throws up all the horrific pitfalls and conceits this life can afford, only to show they are not insurmountable if one has a capacity to love. I don't think this theme has any less relevancy today--if anything, it has that much more.
2005-06-09
Added by: Cat
Ginsberg is one of the most eloquent and refined poets of all time, I think, he was such a loving fag lover. Howl is a type of cataloguing epitome poem...ongoing...it's meaning isn't really ever lost.
howl on deaf ears
2005-07-26
Added by: joey da'rrell cloudy
I am 42 years old, I read howl for the first time when I was 38, while riding the bus to work. The poem genuinely affected me. It had me laughing like a made man at some parts and crying like a little bitch at others, when I finished the poem and got off the bus everyone must have thought I was crazy, because I was. Howl is the poem that changed my life for the better, never had I seen so much truth, beauty and courage in one place. Ginsburg is to poetry what Jesus was to Judaism Howl is the literary worlds new testament.
2005-08-22
Added by: Dr. Matt
You should hear this style of poetry done BADLY; you would appreciate how good Ginsburg is.
There is a rap-like rhythm and feel of the words (Elliot did some aspects better in PrufRock). Many metaphors are used. They tend to be ironic and playing against cliche and expectation. There is also much control and structure in the work with a bit of analysis.
howl
2006-02-22
Added by: Englishman
I was completely miserable while reading this that I did not finish, I was dissapointed with the poem as a whole and feel he tried to make it to complicated as to make it more interesting but to me it did not work. But that is just my opinion.
2006-10-29
Added by: SPFC
Best line? "who hiccupped endlessly trying to giggle but ended with a sob behind a partition in a Turkish bath when the blond and naked angel came to pierce them with a sword". Proof? I'm straight, and it turns me on.

"Howl" is "Fern Hill"'s evil twin, Ginsberg is the beat Dylan Thomas. This is the most astoundingly beautiful and disturbing thing I have ever read in my life, with no exceptions.

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