`` Howl `` By Allen Ginsberg

1047 WordsNov 1, 20165 Pages
“Howl” by Allen Ginsberg can be labeled as a prose poem, but it does not seem to fit any one category in literature. One could argue that “Howl” can not be confined by categorization because of how different in style and form that it is. This version of the poem was published in 1956 and has three parts. It can be viewed as a stream of consciousness with many random comma placements and few chances to take a breath while reading it. The poem is constantly building upon itself giving the reader little time to pause. The long stretched out lines help add to this effect of, what Ginsberg called, “a big long clanky statement” (492). By stretching out the sentences Ginsberg adds to the overall lengthy feeling that the poem has. The beginning of the poem has a dedication to Carl Solomon, a friend Ginsberg met in the Columbia Psychiatric Institute. He drew inspiration from Solomon’s work in “Howl” and thought highly of him as an intellectual person. The first line of the poem reads, “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,” and the speaker continues on from there (492). Right away readers are thrown into the speaker’s view and what he has seen in his life. The first misplaced comma is one of many, but symbolizes the chaos that he is describing all around him. In our class discussion we talked about how the speaker alienates an older generation in this quote because he is speaking about the younger generation that he is part of. This
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