Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Week Reading Material: 55th Anniversary of "Howl"

This week, as we face an overabundance of stories about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we here at Blog This Rock have a round-up of interesting and engaging pieces about Poetry for you to read! Today, two great articles about the relevance of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl." Forward widely, and enjoy!

From Kathi Wolfe's OpEd in the Washington Blade, "55 Years Later, 'Howl' Remains Relevant":
Fifty-five years after Ginsberg first read “Howl” at the Six Gallery in San Francisco in 1955, it’s easy to forget how breathtakingly revolutionary the poem was to those hearing it for the first time. Written in the McCarthy era when you could lose your job, be arrested or institutionalized (being gay was considered to be a mental illness until 1973 by the American Psychiatric Association) if you were openly queer, “Howl” is a Whitmanesque work replete with open, explicit gay sexuality and anti-capitalist, anti-military sentiments.
Click the link above to read the full text.

From Karren LaLonde Alenier's "The Dressing" Blog at, "'Howl': Absorbing Poetry Through Film":
What the 90-minute art film does well is give time to absorb the dense lines of poetry that are packed heavily with Ginsberg's personal life and the people in it, the socio-political artifacts and ideas of the post-World War II 1950s, and the jazz rhythms of his poetic format that was influenced by Walt Whitman. Interestingly, the presentation of the poetic lines is not linear. Stanzas skipped in one scene might be spoken later. The Dresser couldn't say what the filmmakers' logic for this was, but it certainly did not interfere with the integrity of the poem.
Click the link above to read the full text.

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