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Howl, and Other Poems Paperback – 5 Feb 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 46 pages
  • Publisher: Martino Fine Books (5 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1614275637
  • ISBN-13: 978-1614275633
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By James Szumowski on 10 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Advertised as a reprint of the original. The text is, undeniably, but to advertise it as such suggests it will be bound in the same way, as a replica of the original release. Which this simply isn't, poor quality and has the look and feel of a primary school exercise book. Disappointed. Arrived promptly and in good condition, but I feel advertised in a deceitful way.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perfect! Came extremely quickly, no damage to it all and with footnotes included what more could one want.
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By Leila Laing on 31 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love love love the poems
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Voyagerfreak on 10 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I brought this after watching Kill your darlings. Amazing film. I haven't read this yet but it looks good enough for me
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 132 reviews
147 of 168 people found the following review helpful
Read it for yourself 17 Oct. 2001
By Jeffrey Ellis - Published on
Format: Paperback
Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of self-appointed critics who, in order to try to convince others of their own individuality and intellectual honesty, feel the need to let everyone know that they consider Ginsberg (and every other so-called "Beat" for that matter) to be an overrated hack and more of a celebrity than a poet and blah, blah, blah, blah. It is true that Ginsberg's style has been imitated by far too many lesser poets who, obviously, don't posess anything close to the man's talent and it is also true that there's an equal number of people who claim to love Ginsberg but have never actually bothered to sit down and really read anything beyond the first page of "Howl." Inetivably, one wishes that all of these presumed literary critics (regardless of where they stand) would just shut up, read the poems for themselves, and form their own opinions regardless of what the current trend is. For if they did, they would discover a very talented poet who, even if he occasionally seemed to be repeating and parodying himself as he got older, still created some of the strongest American poetry of the latter 20th Century. While Kaddish remains his strongest work of poetry, his much more famous poem "Howl" still carries more of a raw, exhilirating anger. Written to be read aloud, Howl is basically a cry against the conformity of 1950s America but the anger found within still reverberates almost half a century later. Certainly, his vision of a drug-abusing community of outcasts wandering along darkened city streets remains as relavent as ever. Like any apocalyptic poem, it can be credibly charges that at times, Howl is superficial and there's not much beyond shocking images. I don't necessarily disagree with this -- Howl, for instance, doesn't carry the same emotional weight as Ginsberg's more personal Kaddish. However, if Howl is all image, they're still very powerful images. Would I feel the same passion for this poem if I didn't know the much-reported stories of Ginsberg's "best minds of my generation destroyed by madness?" In short, if the beats hadn't been so celebrated by the media, would this poem have the same power? Honestly, who cares? The fact of the matter is that yes, the beats were celebrated (or hyped depending on your point of view) by the media and Howl is a powerful poem. All other considerations are simply unimportant doublespeak. As for the other poems contained with Howl, they are a mixed batch but all have their value. Some are a little too obviously based on Whitman (much as countless other poets based too much on Ginsberg) but they all have their points of interest. Its obvious that none of them were chosen to overshadow Howl but to a certain extent, that works very well. After the rage and madness of Howl, its good to have these other poems to "come down" with.
With all this talk of anger and rage, I should also mention that Ginsberg's sense of joy is a component of his poetry that too many critics either fail to mention or ignore all together. Whatever you may think of his talent, it is obvious that Ginsberg loved poetry and found his greatest happiness through the discovery of new forms of poetic expressions. For all of its apocalyptic ragings, Howl never grows shrill because one can sense the fact that Ginsberg had a lot of fun composing (and performing) the poem. A few years before his own death, I was lucky enough to attend one of Allen Ginsberg's readings. Though he read mostly from Kaddish and his shorter poems (perhaps, understandably, trying to make sure we understood he actually had written other poems beyond the one everyone kept citing), he also read a bit from Howl. He proved to be an amazing reader, going over these words he must have seen over a million times past, with an almost childlike enthusiasm and joy. As he did this, I looked out at the others in the audience and basically, I saw rows and rows of identical looking "intellectuals," all posessing the same dead-serious expression on their face, nodding at each relavent point as if to make sure everyone understood that they understood genius. Contrasting their forced seriousness with Ginsberg's uninhibited joy, I realized that there was only one true tragesy as far as Allen Ginsberg was concerned and that was the fact that his self-appointed acolytes always took him for more seriously then he did himself. To consider Howl and Ginsberg without joy is like considering language without words.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Poets see hell through the eyes of angels 30 Jun. 2003
By OAKSHAMAN - Published on
Format: Paperback
I reread this little book before attempting to review it. I remembered that it was a mad mantra of transcendent power from the heart of hell, but I didn't remember how nondated it was. This work is fresher and more relevant than 99% of what passes for poetry today. How can something last nearly 50 years without going stale or becoming trite? How can it be even more real now? Maybe it is because Ginsberg ripped it live, screaming, and bleeding from a place beyond time and beyond space. He tore it from the living bowels of MOLOCH itself and showed it to HIM. After all, what does divine madness know of time?
This poem is transcendence itself. It demonstrates that when you plunge into the deepest pit of hell it either kills you, or perhaps it burns out your insides so that you become a soulless zombie, OR you transcend it and rise howling to become a Mad Poet Saint who can truely encompass the Sacred in the Profane.
Read this poem, and the others like America, A Supermarket in California, Sunflower Sutra, Wild Orphan, and In Back of the Real. It's almost frightening how relevant to daily life it is. If you didn't know it, you would never guess that it was written in the 50's. Of course Ginsberg does invoke, holy eternity in time holy the clocks in space the fourth dimension, in the Footnote. Maybe that's why it's timeless. As Cassady used to say, we know time, yes, we know time....
I wish I would have been there for that first public reading in San Fran with Kerouac running around the audience passing the wine jug. On all the planes, the Gods themselves must have jumped back in shock as a flaming monkeywrench of living poetry was jammed through the spokes of the great quivering meat wheel of conception....
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Ginsberg is Poet Priest 15 Jan. 2006
By PunkItUp - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is totally amazing. I have read a lot of Ginsberg's work and I love it all. I am only 14 and I don't get why people think this is so inapropriate! I mean sure, it can get racey at times and maybe for some people it could be too much but it is art! Art is beautiful so why does profanity matter if it is written in an elegant way. And he isn't just swearing for fun, Ginsberg and all his peers were trying to get a message across. That message is a good one, one we should all pay a little more attention to because it applies just as much to today as it did back then in the 50's. The Beat style of writing is inspiring and beautiful, the way the words flow on the page and the rhythm to it all. This collection of poems totally rocks, from his classic and most famous poem Howl, to his firery America, and the wonderful Sunflower Sutra. When I was first introduced to the Beat generation work I thought, oh, okay, this looks sorta interesting... but as soon as I started reading I became utterly imersed. Because of the work of poets like Ginsberg I have been inspired. These writings are what made me want to become a writter and a poet when I am older. Ginsberg was right when he said, "Poet is Priest."

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
All You Need to Know 28 Nov. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book changed my life.
In my sophmore year of high school, my English teacher read "America," a vicious commentary on tha views of the majority in this country contained in this book, to my class.
I didn't think about this peom again until senior year (though it had stunned my fellow classmates and I). Picking this great pocket edition up at my local bookstore, I had no way of realizing what kind of effect it would have on me.
This book is full of some of Ginsberg's most classic works. His unorthodox style bleeds through the poems whether they are shorter, narrative odes to important figures in his life or sprawling, staggering, frenetic pieces which pull the extremes of life itself into the lines.
Because of this book I am now persuing poetry in college.
This should be required reading for Life in general.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Scream into the Void 5 Dec. 2001
By D. Scharlach - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Howl" is perhaps the most aptly titled poem ever. What Allen Ginsberg does with his poetry is exactly that: scream and howl and tear away at all notions of conformity. The epitome of Beat Literature is it's uninhibited energy, of which Howl is a primal statement. Ginsberg unleashes all demons, social to sexual, and leaves the reader with a sense of a man who is in tune with himself and his environment. Gone are the rigid structures of verse and meter, instead they are replaced with a zest for life and a zest for the uncompromising truth. Beat Generation writings thrive on the sound and the fury their literature contains, not bothering with too many pretentions and conventions.
As for comparisons, Howl follows in the tradition of Walt Whitman (who is given a strange but touching ode in Howl), with it's yelps and ecstatic screams. Like Whitman's "Leaves of Grass", "Howl" expands the boundaries and concepts of what poetry is.
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