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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Rakhi Dalal
    I had goosebumps while reading Howl. It's like nothing I have ever read!
  • 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.
  • 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 ...
  • Erin
    It took awhile for me to finally determine where exactly Allan Ginsberg sits in my book reviewer rating scale. Truth is, I was lured in by all the hoopla this collection received in 1956 when it was seized by U.S customs. It's just not easy for me to review poetry.Do I understand why AG set the world on fire in 56? Totally! Was it the type of writing that made me HOWL ? Mmmm ..maybe more like a whimper?Goodreads Review 24/06/19
  • Roy Lotz
    When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks? On my recent trip to San Francisco I was obliged to buy a copy of this book from the City Lights bookstore. Well, that isn’t the whole story. I visited the store without knowing anything of its history, left with a copy of Galileo’s Sidereus Nuncius, and then shamefacedly returned to pick up this book when my mother informed me, five minutes later, that it is famous fo...
  • Fede
    Once a classmate of mine got high on acid on her way to school and had a bad trip that would last for hours - perhaps until the following day. She sat next to me (there were two of us at each desk; ours was in the last row) and rested her head on my shoulder: long blonde hair, starry blue eyes, a dreamy look on her face. She slooooooowly opened her bag - you know, that mesmerising lysergic slowness - and started to display her survival kit on the...
  • 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...
  • Tom Quinn
    So: a mi no me gusta poetry. I really really hate poems. I get it, on an analytical level: they're like ideas pared down into short little quick-fix portrayals and for all the amazing good they do with imagery and sharing the core of humanity, I really just don't like them. They're over too fast, they're too seemingly simple. And all that said, that is why I love "Howl" and Allen Ginsberg in general. "Howl" as a poem is long, longer than average,...
  • Rania Attafi
    mind blowing! i can't wait to read more of his poetry
  • Anuradha
    I'm on a Beat experiment, of sorts, so bear with me. I'd read Howl a while back, but mostly because my then boyfriend was obsessed with Allen Ginsberg. He was prone to, er, herbaceous recreation, if you catch my drift. We were in a long distance relationship, and asking me to read vaguely psychedelic and experimental poems was his idea of foreplay. So I read Howl, I liked it. I didn't really care much about it beyond that, because I hadn't really...
  • [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...
  • anna (readingpeaches)
    i would say "suck my dick" but even that's too much respect for a boring pedophile
  • Timothy Urges
    Ginsberg takes you there.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Tünde Ecem Kutlu
    2nd reading: I understood more references and it only got better.what can I say? I'm apparently a sucker for beat poetry and anything Allen Ginsberg. this was a very short book of poems and the first one (Howl) was simply amazing. it made me feel so many things so suddenly. the rest of the poems are good as well but Howl was something else.
  • 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...
  • Jason
    It's been a fair few years since I read this, decided on a re-read because I'm going to read The Poetry and Politics of Allen Ginsberg soon, so thought it was best to have a refresh.I read Howl and then listened to the main himself performing it, best way to do it. Everytime time he says "eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio" it gives me goosebumps.One thing I noticed this time is that his p...
  • 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...