Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Book Review ~ Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg, Introduction by William Carlos Williams

Title: Howl and Other Poems
Author: Allen Ginsberg, Introduction by William Carlos Williams
Released: first published 1956 (my edition release January 1st 2001)
Published By: City Lights
Page Amount: Paperback, 56 pages

GoodReads Blurb:
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 & Other Poems freed to become the single most influential poetic work of the post-World War II era, with over 900,000 copies now in print."

To be totally honest, I had to buy this book because it was in Gilmore Girls. And both Rory and Jess loved it. So I had to see what it was all about. I love Gilmore Girls. I am a lot like Rory I find. And I thought Jess was just awesome.

Allen Ginsberg is certainly a unique poet. He does not go by the "rules". His stanzas and stanzas breaks could be considered strange by some. He does not always use punctuation in the traditional way. I think this makes him a true poet. He was not afraid to color outside the lines. Something else I noticed was that he wrote much longer poems than I personally am used to reading. I enjoyed stepping out of what I am used to.

This is not at all for younger readers. I'd say you should be at least 16 to read this. There is a lot of language and imagery in it not appropriate for younger people. I'm sure his work was ridiculed in his time and it probably is still now. If you are easily offended do not pick this up. If you want to branch out, give it a try. Especially if you are a fan of poetry.

My favorites in this volume were the title poem, "Howl". "In the back of the real" and "Song". I'm glad Gilmore Girls exposed me to this and I decided ti pick this up. It was worth it. I'll have to check out more of his work. Recommended particularly for poetry fans - but not young readers. Give this one a try. Just keep in mind the language. Don't be shocked.

I think it was worth the read. I gave this one 4 stars.

<3 Amanda Leigh

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