Howl : and other poems / (introduction by William Carlos Williams).

by Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997Looking glass.

Series: Pocket poets series: Publisher: San Francisco : City Lights Books, 1967.ISBN: 0872860175.Note: Originally published 1956.
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811.54 GIN Howl : and other poems / 811.54 GIN Howl : and other poems / 811.54 GIN Howl : and other poems / 811.54 GIN Howl : and other poems / 811.54 GIN Allen Ginsberg / 811.54 GOR The headless bust : 811.54 OHA Lunch poems /

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

The landmark, original publication of Allen Ginsberg'sHOWL & Other Poems!

HOWL & Other Poems, the prophetic book that launched the Beat Generation, was published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti at City Lights Books in 1956. Considered the single most influential work of post-WWII United States poetry, the City Lights edition ofHOWL has remained in print for more than 60 years, with well over 1,000,000 copies in print.

A strident critique of middle-class complacency, consumerism, and capitalist militarism, HOWL also celebrates the pleasures and freedoms of the physical world, including a tribute to homosexual love. In addition to "Howl," poems in the book include: "A Supermarket in California," "Sunflower Sutra," "America," "In the Baggage Room at Greyhound," "Transcription of Organ Music," and "Wild Orphan," among others.

A History ofHOWL:

City Lights founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti first heard Allen Ginsberg read "Howl" at the Six Gallery event in San Francisco, 1955, which featured writers Philip Lamantia, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, and Michael McClure, introduced by poet Kenneth Rexroth. Jack Kerouac was present, but did not read, encouraging and cheering the other poets on. Ferlinghetti was so impressed by Ginsberg's performance, he immediately telegrammed him, referencing Ralph Waldo Emerson's response to Walt Whitman'sLeaves of Grass, "I greet you at the beginning of a great career. When do I get the manuscript?"

When the first edition ofHOWLarrived 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 the City Lights Bookstore manager, Shigeyoshi Murao. The two were charged with disseminating obscene literature, and the case was sent to trial. Ferlinghetti partnered with the ACLU to launch a defense ofHOWL, and a parade of distinguished literary and academic witnesses appeared in court to persuade the judge of its merits. In the end, famously conservative Judge Clayton Horn ruled that the poem was not obscene, but rather, as he stated emphatically,HOWL was a work of "redeeming social significance."

The landmark decision signaled a sea change in American culture, and the City Lights edition ofHOWL became a vital cornerstone in the ongoing struggle for free expression and representation. It continues to attract generation after generation of readers.

"It is the poet, Allen Ginsberg, who has gone, in his own body, through the horrifying experiences described from life in these pages."--William Carlos Williams

"Ginsberg is both tragic and dynamic, a lyrical genius . . . probably the single greatest influence on American poetical voice since Whitman."--Bob Dylan

"Not only did he give us love and poetry, he reminded us of our civic duty to use our voice."--Patti Smith

"Howl was Allen's metamorphosis from quiet, brilliant, burning bohemian scholar trapped by his flames and repressions to epic vocal bard."--Michael McClure

Originally published 1956.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Lately, Ginsberg hasn't always been in top form, but "Howl" remains a masterpiece. White Shroud is the best of his later works. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Irwin Allen Ginsberg was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of poet and teacher Louis Ginsberg. In 1948, he received a B.A. degree from Columbia University.

Ginsberg began writing poetry while still in school and first gained wide public recognition in 1956 with the long poem Howl. Howl has had a stormy history. When it was first recited at poetry readings, audiences cheered wildly. It was published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights Books and printed in England. Before the printed copies could be distributed, however they were seized by U.S. custom officials as obscene. After a famous court case in which the poem was found not to be obscene, the work sold rapidly and Ginsberg's reputation was assured.

Regarded as the foremost port of the Beat generation (as group of rebellious writers who opposed conformity and sough intensity of experience), Ginsberg's work is concerned with many subjects of contemporary interest, including drugs, sexual confusion, the voluntary poverty of the artist and rebel, and rejection of society. He is a poet with a significant message, and his criticism of American society is part of a long tradition of American writers who have questioned their country's values.

Ginsberg received numerous honors, including a Woodbury Poetry Prize, a National Institute of Arts and Letters Award, and a National Book Award for poetry. Ginsberg was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1995 for his book Cosmopolitan Greetings: Poems 1986-1992. Ever the Bohemian, he had numerous occupations throughout his lifetime including dishwasher, porter, book reviewer, and spot welder. He died in April 1997 of complications due to liver cancer.

(Bowker Author Biography)