Modern and Contemporary American Poetry
   Allen Ginsberg
With the publication of Howl in 1955, Allen Ginsberg entered the public arena in America in a way no other poet has done before or since.  Howl's cry of anger and outrage against the complacency of the fifties became the central statement of Beat attitudes, offending and inspiring with its delirious plunge of language: "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical naked / . . . angel headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night..." (from Hungry Mind Review: An Interview with Allen Ginsberg, by Jim Moore)
 Perhaps no single poem in American history has done so much to alter the course of our culture as has "Howl". To some, it is a cry of rage against the injustices of the world and a stand of defiance against the corporate and cultural machine that threatens to deaden our souls.  To others it is a reaffirmation of the heart, a powerful "I AM!" celebration. It is, perhaps both of these and more. (From "Allen Ginsberg: Shadow Changes into Bone" )
***The photo is from the Allen Ginsberg Memorial in Naropa Institute. In 1994, The Naropa Institute held a week long tribute for
       Allen Ginsberg entitled "Beats and other Rebel Angels". One of the many events of the week was an exhibit of Allen's
       Photographic archives.

biographical information
Allen in NY harbor, '47 
young and active 
Allen, Anne Waldman & Michael Brownstein 

Ginsberg with friends 

Ginsberg is meditating. 
Ginsberg is lecturing.

1. Biography  

2. Biography  

 3. A Brief biography with selected bibliography  

4. Discussion of the FBI files on Ginsberg  

5. A remembrance of Ginsberg written after his death last year  


***The above photos are respectively from the site created by Greg Beaver-Seitz, a freshman at the University of Minnesota,
       the Picture Gallery in Geocities, and the Allen Ginsberg Memorial in Naropa Institute.


  relevant links

       1. Ginsberg was one of the "Beat writers."  The following site provides a good introduction to the Beats and
           a series of links that will lead you to sites with more information about them 

       2. William Carlos Williams' introduction to Howl and other Poems when it was first published 

       3. a good site with photos of Ginsberg, biography, bibliography, and links by Greg Beaver-Seitz,
           a freshman at the University of Minnesota 

       4. "ALLEN GINSBERG: SHADOW CHANGES INTO BONE" Created and Maintained by Mongo BearWolf,
           Vermont USA, a good site with links to photo ablum, poems, interview, articles and review on/of Ginsberg.

       5. Allen Ginsberg Memorial Page created by Bill "DeadBEAT" Philibin, with links, poetry, articles, and
           events on/of Ginsberg.

       6. An interview with Ginsberg 

       7. Another interview 

       8. A third interview (in which he talks about Bob Dylan in some detail) 

       9. A lecture by Ginsberg originally called "Poetry of Fiction"


  e-texts of poems
     1. "Howl"

cover of Howl
autographed cover of Howl
an old beat-up copy of Howl
signing a copy of Howl  
at the Naropa Institute


           --"Footnote to Howl" 

           --Online site called "The Inspiration for 'Howl'"

           --Ginsberg's comments about "Howl"  

           --Ginsberg's comments on the techniques used in the poem  

           --Background and brief analysis of the poem  

           --Analysis of Part I  

           --Analysis of Part II  

           --Analysis of Part III  

           --Student response to the poem  

           --Discussion of the poem  


 *** the typescript of Allen Ginsberg's Howl from Modern & Contemporary American Poetry
                             in University of Pennsylvania
     2. A brief poem by Allen Ginsberg for Lorine Niedecker
For L.N.

Allen Ginsberg

as her breath was
now her body,

lonely poet
far from cities

one in the world.

      ***This poem is from Epitaphs for Lorine, edited by Jonathan Williams (Penland, NC: Jargon Society, 1973).



  Online discussions
       1. New York Times article entitled "How Allen Ginsberg Thinks his Thoughts" 

       2. Online tribute to Ginsberg by Stephen Scobie 

       3. Online essay about Ginsberg as an older poet 


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