Anne Waldman on Allen Ginsberg’s Howl

It was a cri de coeur, an alarm, a vision. Its structure matched its energy, which seemed the voices of many, not one. It was a rhizomic collage, just like life, a pastiche of the experiences of many others, encompassing flashes of Blake’s “minute particulars.”


  1. Alicia Ostriker, from the same book, Howl 50 Years Later: From America, Allen takes Whitman. The manly love of comrades, the open road, the democratic vistas stretching to eternity, and also the eyes of America taking a fall, which he plants later, in his mother’s head. America will always be, for him, infinite hope and infinite disappointment. That’s very Jewish.

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