One of the most influential works of poetry in American literature, HOWL gives a raw and unflinching look at life on the fringes and the terrible power of social norms in post-war America.
I first read Howl in my undergrad. I remember reading it on the train, struck breathless by the raw force of Ginsberg’s words and entirely captivated by the poem’s rhythm, by its vivid and violent descriptions; it put into words the trapped feeling, the crazy feeling, the terrible sadness that societal pressure and expectations bring about, especially to those on the fringes. Where do we find acceptance, and more importantly, the true vision from someone who really knows, or even just a way we can reach the storm-battered cottage at the end of the road, and hope to God that the one we are yearning for, who makes us feel that holiness belonging to all things, is there?
If you haven’t read Howl before, be prepared for some amazing and devastating poetry.
Let us know your thoughts below, or on Twitter @hardcoverradio (#hcbookclub).