Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Howl" -Allen Ginsberg

Wow! This is by far the most confusing poem I have read. After reading it, I don't even know if what I thought I understood was actually right. The mood of the poem seemed to be of a wandering nature. The first part was writing about how all of these geniuses of his generation were being destroyed by madness, poverty, disillusionment, along with many other fallen or even better, deferred, dreams. They really seemed not to have a reason to live and just roamed around doing things they did not care for and did not have any kind of morality. The people are living in the same place but they do not seem to share or communicate.
This poem is really different than the rest of the poems we have been reading because it is way more graphic. One of the prime examples is that these people "let themselves be [f*****] in the [a**] by saintly motorcyclists" showing how much the society had been degenerated. The poem talks a lot about the amoral society but it oddly also has a religious aspect to it. It has multiple references to when Jesus was on Earth. Golgotha was the place were Jesus was put on the torture stake and died while the expression "eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani" means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Maybe he uses this expression to symbolize how people feel like there really isn't anything that can make all of the things going on around the world better. I guess this is an aspect of the 20th century writings. Many people look for pleasure in drugs, alcohol, sex, etc. to escape from reality or believe in something better but they just end up achieving nothingness. 
The second part of the poem is also related to religion because it is pretty much speaking to Moloch which is the god to which people sacrificed their children to. The people seem to be forced to offer sacrifices to him and offer themselves while ending up disillusioned because the god they were sacrificing so much for did nothing for them and really could not help make anything better. Many people may feel like that but do not do anything about it. This poem was similar to the story of "My Kinsman, Major Molineux" because the country boy is also wandering around and in the end he is the victim of the vices of the city people. After realizing how the city life is, he realizes that he cannot rely on anybody but himself. 
Why is this poem called Howl?
What does the third part of the poem mean?? 

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