Allan Ginsberg’s poem Howl Essay examples

2092 Words9 Pages
Good art never dies, but rather lingers on in the minds of the society. Allan Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” has relevance many years after it was written. “Howl” is a poem, and a story about the history of the beat generation, and the philosophies of the beat poets. At the time that Howl was written America was in the middle of the cold war, and conservatism was the norm. The shocking nature and vulgar language of “Howl” makes the poem unique during a time when having your hair long, or even having a beard was risqué. Allan Ginsberg makes the reader think about their freedom and expression during the time when even the society is against them. By using his obscene, even by today’s standards, words he startles the read and gives them the branch to…show more content…
Schumacher later writes about how Ginsberg dealt with his sexuality: “Ginsberg made a halfhearted attempt a living a ‘normal’ life, taking up with a girlfriend and working a job, with predictable results. He was encouraged by a psychiatrist to drop the job and live an openly gay lifestyle if that would ease his mind” (102). The point to take away from this is that Alan Ginsberg felt the need to attempt to change his personality to appease society. Society was such that one could not be an openly gay person, and if one was they were to be shunned. The men that attracted Ginsberg’s attention were another problem for him as many of them were mostly heterosexual (99). When one cannot freely confess part of their life the result never comes out well. Ginsberg’s psychiatrist saw the result of the attempted change, and that the best decision was to come free and live the way that Ginsberg truly was. Ginsberg shows this openness in “Howl” and praises this throughout the poem. The article concludes with the reasons why and how Alan Ginsberg wrote “Howl”:
“Since he had no intention of ever publishing the work---it was too personal, as well as being far too sexually explicit for the times—he improvised as he went along,

More about Allan Ginsberg’s poem Howl Essay examples

Get Access