Friday, 16 August 2013

Allen Ginsberg

I'm re-reading Dirty Havana Trilogy at the moment, and in the first chapter it referenced Allen Ginsberg, I've never heard of him before, but been curious I did a quick google. It turns out Allen Ginsberg was a major Beat Generation poet, and wrote a surprisingly decent poem about his Sphincter, "I hope my good old asshole holds out/ 60 years it's been mostly ok".

Ginsberg is a poet I should probably have been aware of, being an Eng Lit grad, but my course focused on British literature rather than American. So I'm pretty ignorant about the Beat Generation, I've attempted to read Jack Kerouac's On the Road, but I found it pretty dull- maybe I should give it another go? 

From the brief research I've done Ginsberg seems like a interesting character, the kind of guy it would have been cool to go to the pub with. He was a man of strong convictions, he was a nonconformist and an advocate for sexual freedom and homosexual rights. His poem Howl, published in 1955, became the subject of a obscenity trial. The poem was controversial as it depicted heterosexual and homosexual sex at a time when sodomy and homosexual acts were illegal in the United States.

A recording of  Allen Ginsberg reading Howl is available of youtube:-

I thinking I'm going to investigate Allen Ginsberg a bit further, as what I've read/seen so far is pretty intriguing. Has anyone got any suggestions for other poets/authors from the Beat Generation?

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