Allen Ginsberg

Howl, Kaddish and Other Poems

“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.”

Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) existed on society’s parameter fighting its most conforming forces: sexual repression, militarism, and capitalism.

Ginsberg’s 1956 poem ‘Howl’ launched an obscenity trial because it described then-criminal homosexual acts. The judge ruled for Ginsberg: “Would there be any freedom of press or speech if one must reduce his vocabulary to vapid innocuous euphemisms?”

This collection, Howl, Kaddish and Other Poems, features Ginsberg’s most important work including the deeply mournful “Transcription of Organ Music.” It constructs a virtual prison of pain, the only antidote an existence among flowers.

Ginsberg’s place, path and time diverges from mine but his pain is familiar. Because, after all, pain connects everyone.