Howl (poem): Wikis


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"Howl and Other Poems" was published in the fall of 1956 as number four in the Pocket Poets Series from City Lights Books

"Howl" is a poem written by Allen Ginsberg as part of his 1956 collection of poetry titled Howl and Other Poems. The poem is considered to be one of the seminal works of the Beat Generation along with Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957), William S. Burroughs's Naked Lunch (1959), and Gregory Corso's "Gasoline" "(1958). "Howl" was originally written as a performance piece, but it was later published by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti of City Lights Books. The poem was originally considered to be obscene, and Ferlinghetti was arrested and charged with its publication. On October 3, 1957 Judge Clayton W. Horn ruled that the poem was not obscene, and "Howl" went on to become the most popular poem of the Beat Generation.[1]



Allen Ginsberg wrote the poem "Howl" in the summer of 1955, purportedly at a coffeehouse known today as the Caffe Mediterraneum in Berkeley, California. Many factors went into the creation of the poem. A short time before the composition of "Howl," Ginsberg's therapist, Dr. Philip Hicks, encouraged him to quit his job and pursue poetry full time.[2] That summer he experimented with parataxis in the poem "Dream Record: June 8, 1955" about the death of Joan Vollmer, a technique that would become central in "Howl."[2][3] He showed this poem to Kenneth Rexroth, who criticized it as too stilted and academic; Rexroth encouraged Ginsberg to free his voice and write from his heart.[4][5] Ginsberg took this advice and attempted to write a poem with no restrictions. He was under the immense influence of William Carlos Williams and Jack Kerouac and attempted to speak with his own voice spontaneously.[5][6] Ginsberg began the poem in the stepped triadic form he took from Williams but, in the middle of typing the poem, his style altered such that his own unique form (a long line based on breath organized by a fixed base) began to emerge.[2][5] Ginsberg would experiment with this breath-length form in many later poems. The first draft contained what would later become Part I and Part III. It is noted for relating stories and experiences of Ginsberg's friends and contemporaries, its tumbling hallucinatory style, and the frank address of sexuality, specifically homosexuality, which subsequently provoked an obscenity trial. Although Ginsberg referred to many of his friends and acquaintances (including Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Peter Orlovsky, Lucien Carr, and Herbert Huncke) the primary emotional drive was his sympathy for Carl Solomon, to whom it was dedicated; he met Solomon in a mental institution and became friends with him. Ginsberg admitted later this sympathy for Solomon was connected to bottled-up guilt and sympathy for his mother's schizophrenia (she had been lobotomized), an issue he was not yet ready to address directly.

The poem was first performed at the Six Gallery in San Francisco on October 7, 1955.[7] The reading was conceived by Wally Hedrick — a painter and co-founder of the Six — who approached Ginsberg in the summer of 1955 and asked him to organize a poetry reading at the Six Gallery. "At first, Ginsberg refused. But once he'd written a rough draft of Howl, he changed his 'fucking mind,' as he put it."[8] Ginsberg was ultimately responsible for inviting the readers (Gary Snyder, Philip Lamantia, and Philip Whalen, Michael McClure and Kenneth Rexroth) and writing the invitation. "Howl" was the second to the last reading (before "A Berry Feast" by Snyder) and was considered by most in attendance the highlight of the reading. Many considered it the beginning of a new movement, and the reputation of Ginsberg and those associated with the Six Gallery reading spread throughout San Francisco.[8] In response to Ginsberg's reading, McClure wrote: "Ginsberg read on to the end of the poem, which left us standing in wonder, or cheering and wondering, but knowing at the deepest level that a barrier had been broken, that a human voice and body had been hurled against the harsh wall of America..."[9] Soon afterwards, it was published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who ran City Lights Bookstore and the City Lights Press. Ginsberg completed Part II and the "Footnote" after Ferlinghetti had promised to publish the poem. "Howl" was too short to make an entire book, so Ferlinghetti requested some other poems. Thus the final collection contained several other poems written at that time; with these poems, Ginsberg continued the experimentation with long lines and a fixed base he'd discovered with the composition of "Howl" and these poems have likewise become some of Ginsberg's most famous: "America," "Sunflower Sutra," "A Supermarket in California," etc.

The earliest extant recording of "Howl" dates from March 18, 1956. Ginsberg and Snyder, after hitch-hiking from San Francisco, read from their poems in the Anna Mann dormitory at Reed College, Snyder's alma mater. This recording, discovered in summer 2007 on a reel-to-reel tape in the Reed College archives, contains only Part I of "Howl." After beginning to read Part II, Ginsberg said to the audience, "I don't really feel like reading anymore. I just sorta haven't got any kind of steam."[10]

Overview and structure of "Howl"

The poem consists of three parts, with an additional footnote.


Part I

Called by Ginsberg, "a lament for the Lamb in America with instances of remarkable lamb-like youths," Part I is the best known, and communicates scenes, characters, and situations drawn from Ginsberg's personal experience as well as from the community of poets, artists, political radicals, jazz musicians, drug addicts, and psychiatric patients whom he encountered in the late 1940s and early 50's. These people represent what he considers "the best minds of my generation," an ironic declaration since, in what members of the Beat Generation considered the oppressively conformist and materialistic 50's, those Ginsberg called "best minds" were unrepresented outcasts. The shocking aspect of the poem was further enhanced by Ginsberg's frank descriptions of sexual, often homosexual, acts. Most lines in this section contain the fixed base "who". In "Notes Written on Finally Recording Howl," Ginsberg writes, "I depended on the word 'who' to keep the beat, a base to keep measure, return to and take off from again onto another streak of invention."[11]

Part II

Ginsberg says that Part II, in relation to Part I, "names the monster of mental consciousness that preys on the Lamb." Part II is a rant about the state of industrial civilization, characterized in the poem as "Moloch". Ginsberg was inspired to write Part II during a period of peyote-induced visionary consciousness in which he saw a hotel façade as a monstrous and horrible visage which he identified with that of Moloch, the Biblical idol in Leviticus to whom the Canaanites sacrificed children. Ginsberg intends that the characters he portrays in Part I be understood to have been sacrificed to this idol. Moloch is also the name of an industrial, demonic figure in Fritz Lang's Metropolis, a film that Ginsberg credits with influencing "Howl, Part II" in his annotations for the poem (see especially Howl: Original Draft Facsimile, Transcript & Variant Versions). Most lines in this section contain the fixed base "Moloch". Ginsberg says of Part II, "Here the long line is used as a stanza form broken into exclamatory units punctuated by a base repetition, Moloch."[11]

Part III

Part III, in relation to Parts I, II, and IV is "a litany of affirmation of the Lamb in its glory," according to Ginsberg. It is directly addressed to Carl Solomon, whom Ginsberg met during a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital in 1949; called "Rockland" in the poem, it was actually Columbia Presbyterian Psychological Institute. This section is notable for its refrain, "I'm with you in Rockland," and represents something of a turning point away from the grim tone of the "Moloch"-section. Of the structure, Ginsberg says Part III is, "pyramidal, with a graduated longer response to the fixed base."[11]


The closing section of the poem is the "Footnote", characterized by its repetitive "Holy!" mantra, an ecstatic assertion that everything is holy. Ginsberg says, "I remembered the archetypal rhythm of Holy Holy Holy weeping in a bus on Kearny Street, and wrote most of it down in notebook there ... I set it as 'Footnote to Howl' because it was an extra variation of the form of Part II."[11]


The frequently quoted (and often parodied) opening lines set the theme and rhythm for the poem:

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix;
Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection
to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night.

Ginsberg's own commentary discusses the work as an experiment with the "long line". For example, Part I is structured as a single run-on sentence with a repetitive refrain dividing it up into breaths. Ginsberg said, "Ideally each line of 'Howl' is a single breath unit. My breath is long — that's the measure, one physical-mental inspiration of thought contained in the elastic of a breath."[11]

On another occasion, he explained: "the line length ... you'll notice that they're all built on bop — you might think of them as a bop refrain —chorus after chorus after chorus — the ideal being, say, Lester Young in Kansas City in 1938, blowing 72 choruses of 'The Man I Love' until everyone in the hall was out of his head..."[10]

Door at the Bowery Poetry Club, a popular haunt for Ginsberg colleagues

1957 obscenity trial

"Howl" contains many references to illicit drugs and sexual practices, both heterosexual and homosexual. On the basis of one line in particular

"who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy"

customs officials seized 520 copies of the poem on March 25, 1957, being imported from the printer in London.

A subsequent obscenity trial was brought against Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who ran City Lights Bookstore, the poem's new domestic publisher. Nine literary experts testified on the poem's behalf. Supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, Ferlinghetti won the case when Judge Clayton Horn decided that the poem was of "redeeming social importance". The case was widely publicized (articles appeared in both Time and Life magazines). The trial was published by Ferlinghetti's lead defense attorney Jake Ehrlich in a book called Howl of the Censor. In 2010, a film was made depicting the events of the trial called Howl.

1969 broadcast controversy in Finland

Part one of Howl was broadcast in Finland on September 30, 1969, on Yleisradio's "parallel programme" at 10:30 p.m. The poem was read by three actors with jazz music specially composed for the broadcast by Henrik Otto Donner. The poem was preceded by an eight-minute introduction. The Finnish translation was made by Anselm Hollo.[12] The translation was published already in 1961 in Parnasso literary magazine, and caused no turmoil then.

A Liberal-Party member of the Finnish Parliament, Arne Berner, happened to hear the broadcast, and started an interpellation, addressed to the Minister of Transport and Public Works. It was signed by him and 82 other members of the 200. It is unclear how many of the other signatories actually had heard the broadcast. The interpellation text only contained a short extract of six lines (considered to be offending, and representative of the poem) of over seventy from the poem, and the debate was mainly based upon them.

Also, a report of an offence was filed to the criminal investigation department of Helsinki police district because the obscenity of the poem allegedly offended modesty and delicacy. The report was filed by Suomen kotien radio- ja televisioliitto (The radio and television association of Finnish homes), a Christian and patriotic organization, and it was only based on the six-line fragment. In connection with that, Yleisradio was — without grounds — accused of copyright violation as well. No charges ever followed.

In that time, homosexual acts were still illicit in Finland, as was the encouragement to homosexual practices.

Yleisradio is formally the parliament's radio station, and at that time, it was considered a bastion of left-minded editors and "radicalists", especially because of Eino S. Repo. So the Howl broadcast provided the right-wing politicians a good reason to question the operations of Yleisradio in general, especially in the light of the parliamentary election next year. There was a heated debate in the parliament and in the press in late 1969 concerning the educational role of the public service radio station that Yleisradio is, and the artistic value of Ginsberg's poem, whether it is art or mere pornography. The debate seemed to boil down to the question of which words can be allowed in public service radio.

Finally, the Ministry of Transport and Public Works considered in December 1969 that the broadcast of Howl was against the licence of operation of Yleisradio: it was uneducational and unuseful. Yleisradio received a reprimand, and was instructed to be more careful when monitoring that such programs shall no more be broadcast.[13]

Biographical references and allusions

Part I

Line Reference
“who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated.” This is a direct reference told to Ginsberg by Kerouac about poet Philip Lamantia’s “celestial adventure” after reading the Qur'an. [14]
"Who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake — light tragedies among the scholars of war" and “who thought they were only mad when Baltimore gleamed in supernatural ecstasy” Ginsberg had an important auditory hallucination in 1948 of William Blake reading his poems "Ah, Sunflower", "The Sick Rose", and "Little Girl Lost". Ginsberg said it revealed to him the interconnectedness of all existence. He said his drug experimentation in many ways was an attempt to recapture that feeling.[15][16]
"Who were expelled from the academy for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull" Part of the reason Ginsberg was expelled from Columbia University was because he wrote obscenities in his dirty dorm window. He suspected the cleaning woman of being an anti-Semite because she never cleaned his window, and he expressed this feeling in explicit terms on his window, by writing "Fuck the Jews", and drawing an ironic swastika. He also wrote a phrase on the window implying that the president of the university had no testicles.[17][18]
"who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear,burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall" Lucien Carr burned his insanity record, along with $20, at his mother's insistence.[19]
"... poles of Canada and Paterson..." Kerouac was French-Canadian from Lowell, Massachusetts; Ginsberg grew up in Paterson, New Jersey.[20]
"who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford's floated out and sat through the stale beer afternoons in desolate Fugazzi's..." Bickford's and Fugazzi's were New York spots where the Beats hung out. Ginsberg worked briefly at Fugazzi's.[21][22]
"... Tangerian bone-grindings..." "... Tangiers to boys ..." and “Holy Tangiers!” William S. Burroughs lived in Tangier, Morocco at the time Ginsberg wrote "Howl". He also experienced withdrawal from heroin, which he wrote about in several letters to Ginsberg. [23]
"who studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telepathy and bop kabbalah because the cosmos instinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas" Mystics and forms of mysticism in which Ginsberg at one time had an interest. [23]
“who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico.” Both a reference to John Hoffman, a friend of Philip Lamantia and Carl Solomon, who died in Mexico, and a reference to Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry. [14]
“weeping and undressing while the sirens of Los Alamos wailed them down.” A reference to a protest staged by Judith Malina, Julian Beck, and other members of The Living Theater. [24]
“who bit detectives in the neck ... dragged off the roof waving genitals and manuscripts.” Also, from “who sang out of their windows in despair” to “the blast of colossal steam whistles.” A specific reference to Bill Cannastra, who actually did most of these things and died when he "fell out of the subway window." [24][25][26]
”Saintly motorcyclists” A reference to Marlon Brando and his biker persona in The Wild One. [23]
From “Who copulated ecstatic and insatiate” to "Who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad stolen night-cars, N. C. secret hero of these poems." Also, from "who barreled down the highways of the past" to "& now Denver is lonesome for her heroes" A reference to Neal Cassady (N.C.) who lived in Denver, Colorado, and had a reputation for being sexually voracious. [27][28][29]
"who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the showbank docks waiting for a door in the East River to open to a room full of steamheat and opium" A specific reference to Herbert Huncke’s condition after being released from Riker’s Island. [30][31]
"... and rose to build harpsichords in their lofts..." Friend Bill Keck actually built harpsichords. Ginsberg had a conversation with Keck's wife shortly before writing "Howl". [25][32][33]
"who coughed on the six floor of Harlem crowned with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded by orange crates of theology" This is a reference to the apartment in which Ginsberg lived when he had his Blake vision. His roommate, Russell Durgin, was a theology student and kept his books in orange crates.[32][34]
"who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot with eternity outside of time..." A reference to Ginsberg's Columbia classmate Louis Simpson, an incident that happened during a brief stay in a mental institution for post-traumatic stress disorder.[32][35]
"who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison Avenue... the nitroglycerine shrieks of the fairies of advertising" Ginsberg worked as a market researcher for Towne-Oller Associates in San Francisco, on Montgomery Street, not Madison Avenue.[36]
"who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge..." A specific reference to Tuli Kupferberg. [24][37]
”who crashed through their minds in jail...” A reference to Jean Genet’s Le Condamne a Mort.[24]
"who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky Mount to tender Buddha or Tangiers to boys or Southern Pacific to the black locomotive or Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the daisychain or grave" Many of the Beats went to Mexico City to “cultivate” a drug “habit,” but Ginsberg claims this is a direct reference to Burroughs and Bill Garver. However, Burroughs lived in Tangiers at the time[38] (as Ginsberg says in "America" "Burroughs is in Tangiers I don't think he'll come back it's sinister"[39]). Rocky Mount, North Carolina, is where Jack Kerouac’s sister lived (as recounted in Dharma Bums).[40] Also, Neal Cassady was a brakeman for the Southern Pacific. John Hollander was an alumnus of Harvard. Ginsberg’s mother Naomi lived near Woodlawn Cemetery. [32][41]
“Accusing the radio of hypnotism...” A reference to Ginsberg’s mother Naomi, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. It also refers to Antonin Artaud’s reaction to shock therapy and his “To Have Done with the Judgement of God”, which Solomon introduced to Ginsberg at Columbia Presbyterian Psychological Institute. [42][43]
From "who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism..." to "resting briefly in catatonia" A specific reference to Carl Solomon. Originally this final section went straight into what is now Part III, which is entirely about Carl Solomon. [44][45][46]
"Pilgrim's State's Rockland's and Greystone's foetid halls ..." and “I’m with you in Rockland” These are mental institutions associated with either Ginsberg’s mother Naomi or Carl Solomon: Pilgrim State Hospital and Rockland State Hospital in New York and Greystone State Hospital in New Jersey. Ginsberg met Solomon at Columbia Presbyterian Psychological Institute, but “Rockland” was frequently substituted for “rhythmic euphony”.[42][43][47]
"with mother finally ******" Ginsberg admitted that the deletion here was an expletive. He left it purposefully elliptical “to introduce appropriate element of uncertainty.” In later readings, many years after he was able to distance himself from his difficult history with his mother, he reinserted the expletive. [44]
"obsessed with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use of the ellipse the catalog the meter (alt: variable measure) & the vibrating plane.” Also, from "who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space" to "what might be left to say in time come after death." This is a recounting of Ginsberg's discovery of his own style and the debt he owed to his strongest influences. He discovered the use of the ellipse from haiku and the shorter poetry of Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams. "The catalog" is a reference to Walt Whitman's long line style which Ginsberg adapted. "The meter"/"variable measure" is a reference to Williams’ insistence on the necessity of measure. Though "Howl" may seem formless, Ginsberg claimed it was written in a concept of measure adapted from Williams’ idea of breath, the measure of lines in a poem being based on the breath in reading. Ginsberg's breath in reading, he said, happened to be longer than Williams’. "The vibrating plane" is a reference to Ginsberg's discovery of the "eyeball kick" in his study of Cézanne. [48][49][50]
"Pater Omnipitens Aeterna Deus"/"omnipotent, eternal father God" This was taken directly from Cézanne. [42][51]
”to recreate the measure and syntax of poor human prose...” A reference to the tremendous influence Kerouac and his ideas of “Spontaneous Prose” had on Ginsberg’s work and specifically this poem. [52][53]
“what might be left to say in time come after death” A reference to Louis Zukofsky’s translation of Catullus: “What might be left to say anew in time after death...” Also a reference to a section from the final pages of Visions of Cody, “I’m writing this book because we’re all going to die,” and so on.[42]
"eli eli lamma lamma sabachthani" One version of the last words of Jesus: "Oh God, why have you forsaken me?" Though Ginsberg grew up in an agnostic household, he was very interested in his Jewish roots and in other concepts of spiritual transcendence. Although later Ginsberg was a devoted Buddhist, at this time he was only beginning to study Buddhism along with other forms of spirituality.[32]

Part II

Line Reference
”Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness!” Fire god of the Canaanites referred to in Leviticus 18:21: “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech.” Worship of Moloch involved the sacrifice of children by fire. [33][54]
”Moloch whose buildings are judgement!” A reference to Urizen, one of William Blake’s four Zoas. [54]
“Crossbone soulless jailhouse and congress of sorrows...” and “Holy the solitudes of skyscrapers and pavements! Holy the cafeterias filled with the millions!” A reference to block prints by Lynd Ward called God’s Man which was in Ginsberg’s childhood library. [55]
From “Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo!” to “Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless Jahovahs!” A reference to several films by Fritz Lang, most notably Metropolis in which the name “Moloch” is directly related to a monstrous factory. Ginsberg also claimed he was inspired by Lang’s M and The Testament of Dr. Mabuse. [56]
“Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows!” Ginsberg claimed Part II of "Howl" was inspired by a peyote-induced vision of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco which appeared to him as a monstrous face.[25][56][57]
From “Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks!” to “Moloch whose name is the Mind!” A reference to Ezra Pound’s idea of usury as related in the Cantos and ideas from Blake, specifically the “Mind forg’d manacles” from “London.” Ginsberg claimed “Moloch whose name is the Mind!” is “a crux of the poem.” [58]
“Lifting the city to Heaven which exists and is everywhere about us” A reference to “Morning” from Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud. [58]

Part III

Line Reference
“I’m with you in Rockland/where we are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter...” At Columbia Presbyterian Psychological Institute, Ginsberg and Solomon wrote satirical letters to Malcolm de Chazal and T. S. Eliot which they did not ultimately send. [59][60]
“I’m with you in Rockland/where you drink the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica.” A reference to Mamelles de Tiresias by Guillaume Apollinaire. [61]
From “I’m with you in Rockland/where you scream in a straightjacket” to “fifty more shocks will never return your soul to its body again...” Solomon actually received shock treatment and was put in a straightjacket at Pilgrim State. [61]
“I’m with you in Rockland/where you bang on a catatonic piano...” Ginsberg was actually the one reprimanded for banging on a piano at CPPI. [62][63]
“I’m with you in Rockland/where you split the heavens of Long Island...” Pilgrim State is located in Long Island. [62]
“I’m with you in Rockland/where there are twenty five thousand mad comrades all together singing the final stanzas of the Internationale...” The population of Pilgrim State was 25,000. The Internationale was a song for the Industrial Workers of the World from the “Little Red Songbook.” [62]
“... the door of my cottage in the Western night.” A reference to the cottage on Milvia Street in Berkley California where many of the poems in Howl and Other Poems were composed, including “A Strange New Cottage in Berkley.” [62]

Footnote to Howl

Line Reference
“Everyday is in eternity!” A reference to “Auguries of Innocence” by Blake: “Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand/And Eternity in an hour.” [64]
“Holy Peter holy Allen holy Solomon holy Lucien holy Kerouac holy Huncke holy Burroughs holy Cassady...” Peter Orlovsky, Carl Solomon, Lucien Carr, Jack Kerouac, Herbert Huncke, William S. Burroughs, and Neal Cassady.[64]
“Holy the Fifth International” A reference to four “Internationals,” meetings of Communist, Socialist, and/or Labor groups. The First International was headed by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in 1864. The Fourth International was a meeting of Trotskyites in 1938. The Fifth International, Ginsberg would claim, is yet to come.[64]

Critical reception

The New York Times sent Richard Eberhart to San Francisco in 1956 to report on the poetry scene there. The result of Eberhart's visit was an article published in the September 6, 1956 New York Times Book Review entitled "West Coast Rhythms". Eberhart's piece helped call national attention to "Howl" as "the most remarkable poem of the young group" of poets who were becoming known as the spokespersons of the Beat generation.[65] On October 7, 2005, celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the first reading of the poem were staged in San Francisco, New York City, and in Leeds in the UK. The British event, Howl for Now, was accompanied by a book of essays of the same name, edited by Simon Warner and published by Route Publishing (Howl for Now ISBN 1901927253) reflecting on the piece's enduring influence.

2007 broadcasting fears

In late August 2007, Ron Collins, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Nancy Peters, Bill Morgan, Peter Hale, David Skover, Al Bendich (one of LF's 1957 lawyers in the Howl case), and Eliot Katz petitioned Pacifica Radio to air Ginsberg's Howl on October 3, 2007 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the verdict declaring the poem to be protected under the First Amendment against charges of obscenity. Fearing fines from the FCC, Pacifica New York radio station WBAI opted not to broadcast the poem. The station chose instead to play the poem on a special webcast program, replete with commentary (by Bob Holman, Regina Weinreich amd Ron Collins, narrated by Janet Coleman), on October 3, 2007.[66]


  1. ^ Morgan, Bill and Joyce Peters. Howl on Trial.(2006) p. xiii.
  2. ^ a b c Allen Ginsberg. Journals Mid-Fifties: 1954-1958. Ed. Gordon Ball. HarperCollins, 1995. 0060167718.
  3. ^ Miles, pg. 182
  4. ^ Journals Mid-Fifties, pg.9
  5. ^ a b c Miles, pg. 183
  6. ^ Journals Mid-Fifties, pg. 167
  7. ^ Heidi Benson, Howl, San Francisco Chronicle, October 4, 2005
  8. ^ a b Jonah Raskin, American Scream: Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" and the Making of the Beat Generation
  9. ^, From the Academy of American Poets: Allen Ginsberg
  10. ^ a b Jeff Baker, "'Howl' tape gives Reed claim to first," The Oregonian, 2008-02-12
  11. ^ a b c d e Ginsberg, Allen. "Notes Written on Finally Recording 'Howl.'" Deliberate Prose: Selected Essays 1952-1995. Ed. Bill Morgan. NY: Harper Collins, 2000.
  12. ^ Matti Rossi was credited as a co-translator, but he was only involved in parts two and three.
  13. ^ The whole episode is explored in detail, with lots of original documents, in Lounela–Mäntylä 1970. This entire section is based upon that book.
  14. ^ a b Allen Ginsberg. “Howl: Original Draft Facsimile, Transcript & Variant Versions, Fully Annotated by Author, with Contemporaneous Correspondence, Account of First Public Reading, Legal Skirmishes, Precursor Texts & Bibliography.” Ed. Barry Miles. Harper Perennial, 1995. ISBN 0-06-0926112. Pg. 124.
  15. ^ Original Draft, pg. 125, 128
  16. ^ Lewis Hyde. On the Poetry of Allen Ginsberg. University of Michigan Press, 1984 ISBN 0472063537, 9780472063536, pg. 6.
  17. ^ Original Draft, pg. 132
  18. ^ Miles, pg. 57
  19. ^ Allen Ginsberg. The Book of Martyrdom and Artifice: First Journals and Poems 1937-1952 . Ed. Juanita Lieberman-Plimpton and Bill Morgan. Da Capo Press, 2006. ISBN 0306814625. Pg. 58.
  20. ^ Miles, pg. 1
  21. ^ Original Draft, pg. 125
  22. ^ Raskin, pg. 134
  23. ^ a b c Original Draft, pg. 126
  24. ^ a b c d Original Draft, pg. 128
  25. ^ a b c Miles, pg. 189
  26. ^ Bill Morgan. I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg. Penguin, 2006. ISBN 9780143112495, pg. 128.
  27. ^ Original Draft, pg. 126-127
  28. ^ Miles, pg. 186
  29. ^ Raskin, pg. 137
  30. ^ Original Draft, pg. 133
  31. ^ Miles, pg. 186
  32. ^ a b c d e Original Draft, pg. 134
  33. ^ a b Howl on Trial, pg. 34
  34. ^ Miles, pg. 97
  35. ^ Miles, pg. 186
  36. ^ ‘’Journals Mid-Fifties’’, pg.5
  37. ^ Raskin, pg. 135
  38. ^ Allen Hibbard. Conversations with William S. Burroughs. University Press of Mississippi, 2000. ISBN 1578061830. pg. xix.
  39. ^ Allen Ginsberg. "America". Howl and Other Poems. City Lights Publishers, 2001. ISBN 0872860175. pg. 38.
  40. ^ David Creighton. Ecstasy of the Beats: On the Road to Understanding. Dundurn, 2007. ISBN 1550027344. pg. 229.
  41. ^ Raskin, pg. 137
  42. ^ a b c d Original Draft, pg. 130
  43. ^ a b Matt Theado. The Beats: A Literary Reference. Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2003. ISBN 0786710993. pg. 53
  44. ^ a b Original Draft, pg. 131
  45. ^ Miles, pg.117, 187
  46. ^ Morgan, pg. 118
  47. ^ Morgan, pg. 13
  48. ^ Original Draft, pg. 130-131
  49. ^ Miles, pg. 187
  50. ^ Allen Ginsberg. “A Letter to Eberhart.” Beat Down to Your Soul. Ed. Ann Charters. Penguin Books, 2001.ISBN 0141001518, pg. 121..
  51. ^ Hyde, pg. 2
  52. ^ Original Draft, pg. 136
  53. ^ Allen Ginsberg. Spontaneous Mind: Selected Interviews 1958-1996. Ed. David Carter. Perennial, 2001, pg. 291
  54. ^ a b Original Draft, pg. 139
  55. ^ Original Draft, pg. 139, 146
  56. ^ a b Original Draft, pg. 140
  57. ^ Morgan, pg. 184
  58. ^ a b Original Draft, pg. 142
  59. ^ Original Draft, pg. 143
  60. ^ Theado, pg. 242
  61. ^ a b Original Draft, pg. 144
  62. ^ a b c d Original Draft, pg. 145
  63. ^ Miles, pg. 121
  64. ^ a b c Original Draft, pg. 146
  65. ^ Original Draft p. 155
  66. ^ Garofoli, Joe (October 3, 2007). "'Howl' too hot to hear". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on January 22, 2010. Retrieved January 22, 2010. 

Additional reading

  • Charters, Ann (ed.). The Portable Beat Reader. Penguin Books. New York. 1992. ISBN 0-670-83885-3 (hc); ISBN 0-140-15102-8 (pbk)
  • Ginsberg, Allen. Howl. 1986 critical edition edited by Barry Miles, Original Draft Facsimile, Transcript & Variant Versions, Fully Annotated by Author, with Contemporaneous Correspondence, Account of First Public Reading, Legal Skirmishes, Precursor Texts & Bibliography ISBN 0-06-092611-2 (pbk.)
  • Howl of the Censor. Jake Ehrlich, Editor. ISBN 1-11117-504-7
  • Lounela, Pekka — Mäntylä, Jyrki: Huuto ja meteli. [Howl and turmoil.] Hämeenlinna, Karisto. 1970.
  • Miles, Barry. Ginsberg: A Biography. London: Virgin Publishing Ltd. (2001), paperback, 628 pages, ISBN 0-7535-0486-3
  • Raskin, Jonah. American Scream: Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" and the Making of the Beat Generation. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004. ISBN 0520240154

External links


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