Dislikes of the American Society and the Injustices in America in Allen Ginsberg's Poetry

Topics: Beat Generation, J. Edgar Hoover, Howl Pages: 8 (1693 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Dislikes of the American Society

And the Injustices in America

In Allen Ginsberg's Poetry


Matt Feeko

Mrs. Juenger

English 1

18 April 1999

Dislikes of the American Society

And the Injustices in America

In Allen Ginsberg's Poetry

Allen Ginsberg started his infamous life as a revolutionary and poet of the beat generation when he began attending Colombia University. While at Colombia Ginsberg met friend and mentor Jack Kerouac whom he would later join to form the School of Disembodied Poets. During his education at Colombia University Ginsberg started his highly political and opinionated poems, which would become his signature for the beat generation. The poetry he produced would become the basis of protest and due to this and his strong political presence Ginsberg earned himself a spot on the FBI's dangerous list.

Ginsberg's poems were that of a revolutionary and showed his dislikes of American Society and the Injustices throughout America. Ginsberg's most recognized and an earliest poem was Howl and other poems written in 1956 (Ostriker 4). Howl being one of Ginsberg's most infamous poems has been translated to the T. In Alicia Ostriker's criticism of Howl she relates Ginsberg's "Meloch" in part two of Howl to many of the evils that befall this nation today (5). Ostriker states, "Ginsberg's mind forged Meloch likewise as oppressiveness of a modern industrial and military state, excluded from reason. Ginsberg's Meloch is also the modern version of Mammon, the capitalism of unobtainable dollars… running money… electricity and banks. (7)." Howl records in veiled fashion, the humiliation and crippling of a population of immigrants to shores, which promised, hope and produced despair (3). In the poem Howl's (1956) first lines, " 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. (Ginsberg, Howl)" Ginsberg is speaking of the destruction that drugs have caused in American Society and America's addiction to drugs.

Ginsberg also describes the members of his community:

Who distributed supercommunist pamphlets in Union Square and undressing while the sirens of Los Alomos wailed them down, and wailed down Wall, and the Staten Island Ferry also wailed, who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery of other skeletons,

Who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight in police cars for committing no crime but their own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication (Ginsberg, Howl)

In Levi Asher's review of Howl he describes these lines as Ginsberg's fellow travelers, the crazy, lonely members of his community of misunderstood poet artists, unpublished novelists, psychotics, radicals, pranksters, sexual deviants, and junkies (Asher 1).

Ginsberg's more politically inspired poems include Hadda Be Playing on the JukeBox, America, and Industrial Waves.

The Poem Hadda Be Playing on the Juke Box is bursting with politics, anger against the federal government, alliances America has, and the crimes against humanity it commits.

Ginsberg attacks the FBI and its head of operation J Edgar Hoover by describing the corruption within the FBI and its collaboration with the Mafia in the following lines:

It had to be FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover and Frank Costello syndicate mouthpiece meeting in Central Park, New York weekends reported Time Magazine…………………………………………

It had to be the FBI and organized crime working together

In cahoots against the commies (Ginsberg, HBPOTJB.)

These lines show Ginsberg awareness of the mob and the FBI' s friendly terms. Ginsberg is relating to the mobs black mail of Hoover and Hoover's cross-dressing and...
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