Analysis of Allen Ginsberg's 'Howl'

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Howl Allen Ginsburg Introduction Why is this poem so fascinating to scholars, students, and others in America, even today fifty-six years after it was published? Indeed it remains of interest because this poem was part of the literary movement that put the Beat Generation on the map, and it also demonstrated, "…in a seismic way," that social change could be driven by literature, Amiri Baraka and colleagues explain in The American Poetry Review. The poem broke form, and challenged cultural and moral values, and it amounted to "…more than a collective, thrilling scream" (Baraka, 2006, p. 3). In fact it changed "and continues to change" the "potential and vision of the lives and work of its readers, including those of our most distinguished artists and authors" (Baraka, 3). Moreover, this poem remains an iconic American masterpiece of expression and realism because not only is it, as Baraka explains, "Robust, rough, rude, and tender, with provocatively rhythmic music," but also it showed how a poet could present bold "…visual imagery" by altering phrases and repeating phrases that in fact were "…born out of the various influences of American jazz, blues, and rock n' roll, formalism and free verse" (Baraka, 3). It was also launched from the tone of French surrealism, English romanticism, the Jewish faith as well as Buddhism, Baraka continues (3). In Ginsberg's poem, as will be presented in this paper, the poet openly offers the "unspeakably personal, political and sexual"
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