SHORT WRITING ASSIGNMENT: Read Allen Ginsberg’s poem Howl:
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/179381 (see link below)
By Thursday 3/4 write a 350-400-word essay that conveys your opinion of this poem. You might consider some of these thematic questions: About whom is Ginsberg writing here? What attitudes are conveyed by the poet’s explicit references to sex and drugs? What is the poet’s attitude toward American society at large during the late 1940s and the 1950s, and how was that attitude affirmed by the censorship trial that the poem provoked? What is the artistic effect of the poet’s freewheeling verse and linked clusters of imagery? What is the purpose of the poet’s invocation of “Moloch”? How does this poem compare to Whitman’s Song of Myself and Miller’s Tropic of Cancer? How does this text relate to current issues of interest to you and your generation?
Howl, Parts I & II with audio of Ginsberg reading: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15308
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