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Howl and others poems (1956)

de Allen Ginsberg

Outros autores: William Carlos Williams (Introdução)

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From the Publisher: The prophetic poem that launched a generation when it was first published in 1965 is here presented in a commemorative fortieth Anniversary Edition. When the book arrived from its British printers, it was seized almost immediately by U.S. Customs, and shortly thereafter the San Francisco police arrested its publisher and editor, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, together with City Lights Bookstore manager Shigeyoshi Murao. The two of them were charged with disseminating obscene literature, and the case went to trial in the municipal court of Judge Clayton Horn. A parade of distinguished literary and academic witnesses persuaded the judge that the title poem was indeed not obscene and that it had "redeeming social significance." Thus was Howl and Other Poems freed to become the single most influential poetic work of the post World War II era.… (mais)
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In October 1955, there was a low-key event at the 6 Gallery on Fillmore Street in San Francisco, with the promise of a "remarkable collection of angels on one stage reading their poetry." Jack Kerouac went around with the collection bowl, whilst Allen Ginsberg whipped the audience into excitement by reading Part I of his work-in-progress, Howl. When Lawrence Ferlinghetti published the completed poem the following year as the fourth in his Pocket Poets series, it soon became a runaway bestseller (partly thanks to a high-profile obscenity trial) and one of the defining works of what came to be called Beat literature.

The poem itself is in three parts: Part I is a grand, Whitmanesque celebration of the lives of his poetic heroes and of his own struggle against the modern world, with copious amounts of (gay) sex, drugs, bumming around and political subversion thrown in; the incantation of Part II confronts the destructive forces of the child-eating Moloch directly, and in Part III he addresses the dedicatee of the poem, Carl Solomon, whom he met while they were both patients in the same psychiatric institution. Then there's a "Footnote to Howl", which is another incantation, a kind of Beat Sanctus.

As in Whitman, the first thing that hits you about the poem is its tremendous momentum and kinetic energy, but there's a lot more to it than just the pounding impact of the long lines: every line is dense with paradoxical, unexpected but never quite nonsensical language (negro streets, starry dynamos, unshaven rooms, pubic beards, ...), and there's a clear thread of insight into the hostile world under all that counter-culture posturing. It's tempting to think of it as nothing more than drug-induced ramblings from long ago, but that's not at all what's going on here: this is a serious attempt to push beyond the usual limits of poetry and make it relevant to people who are confronting the dehumanising effects of fifties society, and it still clearly has things to say to us today.

The Pocket Poets collection includes five more, shorter, incantatory poems in the same kind of Whitman long-line format, plus four rather more conventionally lyrical "earlier poems". Probably the most striking is "Sunflower Sutra", where he and Kerouac sit in the shade of a locomotive on a dockside and contemplate a dead sunflower. ( )
  thorold | Oct 14, 2023 |
Ginsberg's life an his activism may be as interesting or more than his poetry. ( )
  mykl-s | Aug 12, 2023 |
The titular "howl" seems to be the only poem in this collection worth its salt. In it, Ginsberg paints a dazzling picture of New York City as it was. Drugs and marijuana are romanticized simply for being taboo without giving any reason or description, no actual experiences are described; Ginsberg just wanted to let us know how cool he was.

Name dropping is incessant throughout the whole collection to the point of annoyance. Again, Ginsberg was cool because he knew about other beatniks. He wrote this to make sure you knew.

I can't help but think that he is revered simply for traveling within the same circles as other more experimental writers. It certainly seems that way with all of the brown nosing to Kerouac.

Perhaps it's just a product of its time and a celebration of it. It seems like a tiptoe into something that may have been verboten a long time ago but has since lost its edge. ( )
  thenthomwaslike | Jul 24, 2023 |
I've read the three who stand for the beat generation; William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, and now Ginsberg. This book of poems was published by Northern Lights (San Francisco) in 1956. I am not a fan of the Beat Generation. In summarizing the poems they are understandable and representative of the author. The book was challenged as obscene with language and references to homosexuality. The author was found not guilty.
Poems included:
1. Europe, Europe
2. America
3 "Howl", which is considered to be one of the principal works of the Beat Generation
Footnote to Howl
4. Strange New Cottage
5. In Back of the Real
6. "Transcription of Organ Music",
7. "Sunflower Sutra",
8. A supermarket in California
9. Beat Poetry at Royal

These were read by Ginsberg. It was a live audience and they seemed to appreciate the works.

And this concludes my reading of the Beat Generation. ( )
  Kristelh | Mar 13, 2023 |
Some pretty amazing queer poetry that fucking sucks because of the misogyny and pedophilia. ( )
  livertalia | Jan 25, 2022 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Allen Ginsbergautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Williams, William CarlosIntroduçãoautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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Epígrafe
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Informação do Conhecimento Comum em inglês. Edite para a localizar na sua língua.
To--
Jack Kerouac, new Buddha of American prose, who spit forth intelligence into eleven books written in half the number of years (1951-1956) creating a spontaneous bop prosody and original classic literature. Several phrases and the title of Howl are taken from him.
William Seward Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch, an endless novel which will drive everybody mad.
Neal Cassady, author of The First Third, an autobiography (1949) which enlightened Buddha.
All these books are published in Heaven.
Primeiras palavras
Informação do Conhecimento Comum em inglês. Edite para a localizar na sua língua.
HOWL FOR CARL SOLOMON

When he was younger, and I was younger, I used to know Allen Ginsberg, a young poet living in Paterson, New Jersey, where he, son of a well-known poet, had been born and grew up.
Citações
Informação do Conhecimento Comum em inglês. Edite para a localizar na sua língua.
I walked on the banks of the tincan banana dock and sat down under the huge shade of a Southern Pacific locomotive to look at the sunset over the box house hills and cry.
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From the Publisher: The prophetic poem that launched a generation when it was first published in 1965 is here presented in a commemorative fortieth Anniversary Edition. When the book arrived from its British printers, it was seized almost immediately by U.S. Customs, and shortly thereafter the San Francisco police arrested its publisher and editor, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, together with City Lights Bookstore manager Shigeyoshi Murao. The two of them were charged with disseminating obscene literature, and the case went to trial in the municipal court of Judge Clayton Horn. A parade of distinguished literary and academic witnesses persuaded the judge that the title poem was indeed not obscene and that it had "redeeming social significance." Thus was Howl and Other Poems freed to become the single most influential poetic work of the post World War II era.

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