If "Howl" has an essential lesson, it is that even as Ginsberg aspires to the universal, his sensibility isn't, nor can it be, transferable. He speaks from a single imagination rather than a collective mind.
This entry was posted by Ivy
on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 1:24 PM.
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Whoever wrote this is completey off the mark: the notable thing about Howl, among the many notable qualities it displays, is that it is precisely possessed by the collective imagination and sensibility of a generation, the generation which came of age, in postwar (the 'first' Cold War) America, Canada and Europe. Howl remains the rallying call to readers of every generation. To try and reduce it to the sensibility of one man, is to conceal, deny and distort the history of its reception and its continuing effect, both inside of poetry and outside. To suggest that Howl is the 'product' of Ginsberg's imagination is like saying that On the Road is the chronicle of Jack Kerouac and his friends, and that would be kind of simple, right? and stupid, because everyone knows Howl and On the Road are the symbols of a generation whose influence continues...Poetry and all writing today would be 1000 percent poorer were it not for the great electrical charge that Howl enacts.Howl is a desiring machine a poetic firing engine, a spirited maze which teaches readers, how to feel, to think, read and write in new ways. Everything I am sayin is written fast and off the cuff, and so there's no need to say that hundreds of dissertations 've been written about Howl, showing the context of its wider appeal.As I write this, I realize I could write all day about How... I saw the best minds of my generation... or other lines from KaddishO Motherfarewellwith a long black shoe....which I suspect is where S. Plath got the rhyme for her poem, Daddy, Daddy, you bastard I am through... and then something about the black shoe... poetry s a linked machine connecting persons and image, motif &body across the twenty thousand landscapes of buddha and time, the sense of a poet whose written is more than a moment in time reflecting an individual... its a vector... a charge....
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