Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg

Howl and Other Poems

The prophetic poem that launched a generation when it was first published in 1956 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 d...

Details Howl and Other Poems

TitleHowl and Other Poems
Release DateJan 1st, 2001
PublisherCity Lights
GenrePoetry, Classics, Fiction

Reviews Howl and Other Poems

  • Bill Kerwin
    Easy to overstimate Allen Ginsberg. Easy to underestimate him too.There are—if you leave out the political, religious and major historical figures—only about two dozen or so 20th century cultural icons, and Ginsberg is one of them—right up there with Einstein, Bogart, James Dean, and Marilyn Monroe. In the 60's, his face was ubiquitous, and the Ginsberg poster you picked out for yourself showed the kind of Ginsberg you aspired to be: Ginsbe...
  • Paquita Maria Sanchez
    Preface: Though I enjoyed this book as a whole, the focus this evening will be on Howl. Why this one alone? Simply put, I am writing these jumbled thoughts as a dedication to a friend. Rather, I am dedicating this to a cluster of friends, each of whom have chosen, in one form or another, to leave this earthly plain and shatter vehemently into oblivion. Suffice it to say that this series of words and interpretations will be highly personal, and th...
  • R.
    Allen Ginsberg, a sad and lonely man, wrote this to impress Kerouac, another sad and lonely man. Over the years, a lot of sad and lonely people haven't gotten over the how much that first fucking line resonates with them. The whole best minds/generation/destroyed/madness line.Ten years ago, this was a 5-star poem. Ten years from now, it will be a 3-star poem. That's just called growing up, folks.
  • Florencia
    You will not like this. Like we use to say, vengan de a uno.So, “Howl”. My rating is based mostly on my experience with that long poem.I admire any work filled with sincerity and lyrically intense lines (when found). Powerful, raw images that expose an unknown world. I understand this book's historical context and what it represented at the time; storming in with a breath of fresh air, breaking the mold and dealing with some themes and views ...
  • Brent Legault
    Muddled, addled and overrated. In fact, any rating, even a single star or half-moon, is too much for this amateur-hour of a "poem." It might have played well when shouted out to a roomful of arrogant drunks, but on the page it droops, it teeters under the weight of all of those ungainly adjectivies and finally collapses in a fog of its own flatulance. I saw the best minds of my generation ignore this long, long limerick. Now, only nostalgists and...
  • sweet jane
    "Είμαι στο Ρόκλαντ μαζί σου, εκεί όπου στάζεις θαλασσινό ταξίδι στα όνειρά μου, διασχίζοντας τις λεωφόρους της Αμερικής δακρυσμένος ως την παράγκα μου στη νύχτα της Δύσης." Τα λόγια είναι πολύ μικρά για να χαρακτηρίσουν το έργο του Γκίνσμπεργκ, αλ...
  • Pauline
    My god.Reading Howl was like getting stuck for an hour in the brain of a rebellious, pubescent, sexist loudmouth. Between every sentence transpires the hubris of being THE NEW POET, and of being A COOL OUTCAST, and a member of that little BOYS CLUB Ginsberg brings up again and again although it weakens his writing every time. There's a faint, insufferable music of puerility behind it all : most notably when Ginsberg brings up constantly the names...
  • Thomas
    I feel similar ways about Allen Ginsberg and Adele. While I appreciate the skill behind both of their work, I find both of their material overwrought, contrary to popular opinion. Yes, I see how Ginsberg's poetry revolted against oppressive forces and mainstream, heteronormative America. Its lack of style and nuance still frustrates me. Props to him for lending fire to a revolution that uplifted marginalized voices, even if I myself find his writ...
  • Steven Godin
    Nothing like a bit of controversy to keep the establishment ticking over, and in "Howl" it's easy to see why as this was seen as a shocking and powerful piece of obscenity in the eyes of some, but for many more it's viewed as a celebrated manifesto of great importance for the beat Generation of the 1950s that helped to stick a big fat middle finger up to sexual repression and capitalism. This is a vital collection of Ginsberg's work that will alw...
  • Scarlet Cameo
    Howl“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, draggin themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dinamo in the machinery of night.”Me pregunto ¿Quién no habrá leído las primeras líneas de “Aullido”? Un poema que influenció ampliamente la poesía norteamericana del siglo XXI, creado ...
  • Glire
    Many say that this is nothing more than an overrated, incomprehensible bunch of words about sex, alcohol and drugs. And they are right. But poetry is not about words, it's about the feeling they are capable of evoke. And Howl evoke a lot of feelings, at least for me. The eternal search of the meaning of life, the conflicted relation between the fear and mystification of death, the wonders and terrors of growing old. “I saw the best minds of m...
  • Duane
    Considered a masterpiece of the "beat generation" writers, it reads like the jumbled rambling of a drug crazed alcoholic, preoccupied with sex and spiritual enlightenment, while battling mental instability and depression. But I "get it", and I appreciate the significance of it's contribution to the history of the hipster generation, and how they and their writing influenced the culture of the 20th century.
  • Robert Hobkirk
    Ginsberg spent years, hunched over his typewriter, working at poetry, sending out poems with little validation for his talent from the gatekeepers of poetry, poetry magazines and literary journals. Then around 1956 City Lights published this little, very little book Howl. A year later Ginsberg got lucky when a plain-clothes SF cop came into the City Lights book Store and bought a copy of Howl, arresting the store manager and subsequently the publ...
  • Alfred Bates
    Allen Ginsberg typifies the beat generation. Basically, a large amount of stoned/drunk pretentious hipsters who claimed they hated hipsters. And without much writing skill at that. The only exception to this is Jack Kerouac, who was actually a good writer, and did claim numerous times that he was not a beat. That being said, Howl is one of the longest, most terrible pieces of rubbish I've read in a long time. This deserves less than one star. I m...
  • Timothy
    Ginsberg takes you there.
  • Stephen M
    "who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic pingpong table, resting briefly in catatonia,returning years later truly bald except for a wig of blood, and tears and fingers, to the visible madman doom of the wards of the madtowns of the East,Pilgrim State's Rockland's and Greystone's foetid halls, bickering with the echoes of the soul, rocking and rolling in the midnight solitude-bench dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a nightmare, bo...
  • jo
    ah, ranty rants and beautiful language and a deep deep sense of the long poetic sentence. and madness writ large. and industrial dissolution. and that wasteland that is america.
  • Lexie
    TBR jar pick for January 2016It's easy to underestimate the Beats now, in this era (of which the better parts, one might argue, they helped bring about). It's easy to dismiss it all as "attempting to shock" and "deliberately aggressive/anarchist/lewd/[whichever other titles have been slapped on this collection over the years]". They're Holden Caulfield, they're Jim Stark, they're Don Quixote tilting at windmills.But the truth is that the Beats, t...
  • [Name Redacted]
    I have a problem with Allen Ginsberg. It goes beyond how overrated I think he is, how mediocre his poetry seems to me. The titular poem of this volume in particular.It goes beyond his adolescent fixation on the prurient and the vulgar.See, I know for a fact that he was a pedophile. I studied under one of his friends, someone who admitted that Ginsberg was sexually attracted to little boys -- to the extent that Ginsberg's friends all refused to le...
  • Daniel
    Vibrante e impulsionante. Que mais dizer? Possivelmente muito.A edição bilingue da Relógio D'Água motivou-me a ler Uivo e Outros Poemas; nunca antes tinha lido um livro de poesia não lusófona. No fim tem ainda uma secção de notas que elucida sobre factos biográficos, históricos, geográficos, etc, importantes para a compreensão da obra.
  • Laura Leaney
    I just finished reading an essay about Ginsberg's "Howl," paused to reflect and decided to re-read the poem - as well as the others included in this little book. I like them. They're honest, saturated in Ginsberg's heart-wounds and the social concerns of the post-war generation (which, unbelievably, aren't now all that different from 1954). Reading "Howl" is a little bit like getting dragged into the underbelly of New York by one's peter pan coll...
  • Nick
    Tell me comparing your life as the son of two artists in a self-imposed sexed-up exile from the most affluent society on earth to that of a Holocaust victim isn't exorbitantly self-absorbed.Now tell me this isn't a great line: "in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea-journey on the highway across America in tears to the door of my cottage in the Western night" Ginsberg borrows the repetitive syntax of ancient poetry and cryptically personal ref...
  • Matthew
    Disclaimer: Do not read the edition of Howl illustrated by Eric Drooker. Drooker may have collaborated with Ginsberg on Illuminated Poems, but he's also responsible for the unspeakably bad animated sequences in the unwatchable Ginsberg biopic Howl . (Notice the description advertises that Howl is "Now a Major Motion Picture", as if this is something to brag about.)In fact, the illustrations from this edition of Howl look like screenshots f...
  • Black Elephants
    While trying to be more serious on the subject of any kind of literature that I happen to read (per a discussion with a friend), I found myself in Borders, browsing in the poetry section. Generally, I don't bother with bookstore poetry sections. They tend to be filled with "best poetry" anthologies, volumes of Dickinson, Frost and a handful of other great poets, and that's it. I don't have a problem with any of that, it's just that there's not a ...
  • Minyoung Lee
    Perhaps it was fate that brought me to this random hotel room in San Francisco, that happened to have a copy of Howl on the bedside table, in lieu of a Bible. And it was definitely fate that compelled to read this collection of poetry out loud, despite being tired and droopy eyed from the airplane that surely lives off passengers' livelihoods. I am glad that fate let me meet this collection of poetry and I am ashamed that I have not known this un...
  • Tiffany
    Today, I reread this book to teach it in my English 343 class. During lunch, I chatted up a first-year student about the book--she'd not read it nor heard of it, but emerged, out of my brief description, ready to cross the path to the bookstore and pick up her copy to read in her (all too brief) leisure time. On the way back to the office, I passed one of my students in the class, and asked him, "Excited about Howl tomorrow?" No, he told me. I do...
  • the mad hatter
    Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl" was probably the dividing line between two Americas, two generations, two sexualities, two cultures. He was of course indicted and arrested and this poem barred from publication - of course again making it sell a lot more copies eventually - but in a way he was America's first great modern poet. The first line became a sort of countercultural national mantra:"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness,...
  • James
    The weight of the world is love.Under the burden of solitude,under the burdenof dissatisfactionthe weight,the weight we carry,is love.Who can deny?In dreams it touchesthe body,in thoughtconstructsa miracle,in imaginationanguishes till bornin human--looks out of the heartburning with purity--for the burden of lifeis love,but we carry the weight wearily,and so must restin the arms of loveat last,must rest in the armsof love.
  • Rachel Nicole Wagner
    I love Allen Ginsberg's poetry for many reasons. This collection showcases some of my favorites and some I had never read before :) I'm so glad I found a copy of this at my library. It's lovely. Xo, Rach