Allen Ginsberg

The poet I chose to study and present for the research paper is Allen Ginsberg, author of modern poem “Howl.”  Ginsberg’s most important tool in poetry was his own life, and used the literary device of allusion to reference personal events.  Being familiar with a biography of the poet’s life is imperative in understanding his writings.  As a young child, his parents were devout Communist Party members, developing his progressive views.  This perspective led to “Howl,” which was revolutionary for the time period, the message being that “angel-headed hipsters” should actually be acknowledged as the best minds of the era, yet are being destroyed by society. This subject prompted astonishing responses from all types of people, sensationalizing the work even more.  For a while, the poem was outlawed due to its obscenities, and the publisher was arrested.  Ginsberg viewed himself as an influence to all people and the leader of a movement. “Howl” shows Ginsberg’s view of society, but also includes very personal allusions to his own life, such as his enrollment in school, living in New York and then San Francisco, and especially his stay at a psychiatric hospital.  Allen Ginsberg single-handedly commenced the Beat Movement.

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