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Revisiting Allen Ginsberg's 'Howl' at 50 [US]:
Allen Ginsberg said in a 1985 interview that "Howl" began with another poem. Ginsberg, who had studied at Columbia University, sent a poem called "Dream Record, 1955" to poet and essayist Kenneth Rexroth.

"It still sounds like you're wearing Columbia University Brooks Brothers ties," Rexroth told Ginsberg. "You know, it's too formal." So, Ginsberg says, "I sat down and just started writing what I thought about." [...]
NPR audio.
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