Poem Analysis: Allen Ginsberg's 'Howl'

2277 Words Jan 11th, 2018 9 Pages
The soul is holy! The skin is holy! The nose is holy! The tongue and cock and hand and asshole holy! Everything is holy! everybody's holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is an eternity! Everyman's an angel! The bum's as holy as the seraphim! the madman is holy as you my soul are holy!...Holy the groaning saxophone! Holy the bop apocalypse! Holy the jazzbands marijuana hipsters peace & junk & drums!"
~Footnote to "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg Poet Allen Ginsberg composed "Howl" in 1955 and it was published by City Lights Books of San Francisco, CA the following year. He composed the poem in the middle of the 1950s, one of the greatest decades in history for mainstream America. It had been a decade since the American and Allied victory in the second world war. Numerous American men returned home to a country in much better shape than expected, with many women having entered the workforce to keep the economy and industry alive in their absence. The spoils of war were great and America saw a great era of prosperity and domestic, suburban bliss. More interstate highways were constructed. Many more cars were produced and bought. It was a classic era for mainstream American culture in the 1950s. Yet in the haze of the suburbs, expansion of television, growth of Hollywood, and cars, present here were the seeds of rebellion and counterculture that was more indicative of the following decade, 1960s. One such seed is the poem…
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