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Howl, Kaddish and Other Poems

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  2,159 ratings  ·  178 reviews

Allen Ginsberg was the bard of the beat generation, and Howl, Kaddish and Other Poems is a collection of his finest work published in Penguin Modern Classics, including 'Howl', whose vindication at an obscenity trial was a watershed moment in twentieth-century history.



'I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked'



Beat movement ico

...more
Kindle Edition, Penguin Modern Classics, 128 pages
Published April 4th 2013 by Penguin (first published 1956)
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Cameron Hill In order of appearance:
Howl
Footnote to Howl
A Supermarket in California
Transcription of Organ Music
Sunflower Sutra
America
In the Baggage Room at Greyho…more
In order of appearance:
Howl
Footnote to Howl
A Supermarket in California
Transcription of Organ Music
Sunflower Sutra
America
In the Baggage Room at Greyhound
An Asphodel
Song
Wild Orphan
In Back of the Real
Kaddish: Proem, narrative, hymmnn, lament, litany & fugue
Poem Rocket
Europe! Europe!
To Lindsay
Message
To Aunt Rose
At Apollinaire's Grave
The Lion for Real
Ignu
Death to Van Gogh's Ear!
Laughing Gas
Mescaline
Lysergic Acid
Magic Psalm
The Reply
The End(less)
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leynes
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Words cannot describe what I felt reading Ginsberg's poems. It's very rare that words manage to suck the air out of my lungs by punching me in my gut so fucking hard that I want to scream, cry and laugh at the same time. Ginsberg's poems are real. Ginsberg's poems are raw. Ginsberg's poems are a lot to handle; maybe even too much at times.

I am always fascinated by writers who break taboos; writers who are unapologeticly themselves. Writers who manage to capture split seconds and the zeitgeist o
...more
Paul E. Morph
Groundbreaking? Sure. Important? Quite possibly. A painful slog of a read? Absolutely.

I quite liked some of the shorter poems but, and I'm sorry Ginsberg fans, the longer works devolve into the semi-deranged ramblings of a man quite obviously off his tits on something and are a real chore to get through.

It's entirely possible these longer works would come to life when performed live but on the page... good grief... and I'm a fan of Kerouac and Burroughs, so I dread to think what somebody coming
...more
Michael || TheNeverendingTBR
I heard about Ginsberg via. a Jim Morrison biography and Jack Kerouac referencing him many times, I came across this particular book in Waterstones and decided to give it a try.

I absolutely loved it, his writing is full of obscene and surreal imagery; my favourite was 'Death to Van Gogh's Ear!' which was politically dated but still very relevant and I liked what he had to say about money - being an illusion.

His poems aren't your traditional poems, they don't rhyme or anything, they're like a st
...more
Liz Janet
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Allen Ginsberg reads "Howl," (Big Table Chicago Reading, 1959)
(listen to him recite this on YouTube guys, go on, try it)
"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..." I mean if this line doesn't catch your eye, there is something wrong.

Re-read: August 2015
Ginsberg is an amazing poet. Is it wrong that I see him as a sort of revolutionary in the poetry genre? He is my favouri
...more
James Tingle
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Read this about five years ago but saw it on my bookshelf and it got me thinking about it again. Howl, his most famous poem, is obviously amazing and is dark and thought provoking and surreal in places but I thought the poem Kaddish was somehow even better! It's even darker, is very sad and is about his Mum and her mental illness and her going in and out of asylums and his anguish over it all- bleak but brilliant. The rest of the poems don't come close to those two but are still very good and ca
...more
Auntie Terror
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Disturbing, intuitive in its imagery, extremely dense, and unfiltered to the level of brutality. It took me quite some time to get through these mere 120 pages. To say I enjoyed it would be not to the point. I was stirred by Ginsberg's poetry in corners of the mind I'm not wholly comfortable around - it was an... interesting journey. ...more
Chris_P
Raw, blasphemous and psychedelic. Howl is brilliant, Kaddish is majestic beyond words and the rest fluctuate from good to what-the-fuck-did-I-just-read. Ginsberg should be more famous in Greece.
Steven Godin
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"Naomi, Naomi—sweating, bulge-eyed, fat, the dress unbuttoned at one side—hair over brow, her stocking hanging evilly on her legs—screaming for a blood transfusion—one righteous hand upraised—a shoe in it—barefoot in the Pharmacy—The enemies approach—what poisons? Tape recorders? FBI? Zhdanov hiding behind the counter? Trotsky mixing rat bacteria in the back of the store? Uncle Sam in Newark, plotting deathly perfumes in the Negro district? Uncle Ephraim, drunk with murder in the politician’s ba
...more
reem
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love reading Ginsberg out loud, mostly to myself, while facing a mirror or an empty wall. You definitely get a grander feeling when the words are vocalized. It's as if the entire thing becomes present and pleasantly melancholic. I don't know if it's true that that is how his poems were meant to be read - I mean, I've never heard of another group of people (or a generation) that have come together to bring out the most verbally beautiful sentences with such infinite writing, so who k ...more
Ruxandra (4fără15)
“I walked all over the cemetery and still couldn’t find your grave What did you mean by that fantastic cranial bandage in your poems O solemn stinking deathshead what’ve you got to say nothing and that’s barely an answer You can’t drive autos in a sixfoot grave tho the universe is mausoleum big enough for anything the universe is a graveyard and I walk around alone in here
knowing that Apollinaire was on the same street 50 years ago” (At Apollinaire’s Grave)
nadia | notabookshelf
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-beats
i am shelving this right now simply because i am writing an essay on Howl as we speak and my head is exploding i am tired although i should actually be happy because i finally got the chance to write about one of my favourite poems ever but alas my brain is fried and procrastination has reached the heights before unknown. i implore you to kick me in the face when you next see me because i keep doing the same thing to myself over and over again and i never seem to learn
Lör K.
A lover of Beat Generation poetry, since the film Kill Your Darlings, I've held a love for Allen Ginsberg for quite a while now. This is a book I got a while ago, from Puffin Modern Classics, and is merely just a collection of what is considered some of his best works.

Allen Ginsberg is one of my all time favourite poets, ever since I saw Kill Your Darlings, ever since I read his poetry when I was much younger, ever since I read “Howl” for the first time that I could actually remember it. So, whe
...more
Quiver
Welcome to the Beat Generation. Welcome to America.

Little has changed since Ginsberg wrote some of his lines (much has also changed, but that is perhaps more to be expected). Here's a quote from his poem 'America':

'... It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.

Asia is rising against me.
I haven't got a chinaman's chance.
I'd better consider my national resources.
My national resources consist of two joints of marijuana
millions gentials and unpublishable private literature
tha
...more
Laala Kashef Alghata
“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,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of the night,” — Allen Ginsberg, Howl

I’ve read ‘Howl’ before, but just that poem, not this entire collection. I’ve always found poetry collections hard to review. With Ginsberg, you can see snatches of absolute genius, word phrasin
...more
Tristan Stewart
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ginsy can really spin a sentence... Wonderful prose. Easier to appreciate if one does background research of the times he lived in. Lots of cultural references, biblical allusions, mention of politics, Greek mythology, and much more. You have to be okay with not understanding every single reference. The point is to understand the all-encompassing feeling of the poems within this volume. Not a lot of punctuation or structure, extremely raw form of writing. Ginsberg lets it all hang out for the wo ...more
Ross
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised to end up by giving this one a "five". Anguished, rhythmic stream of consciousness poetry of Ginsberg is transfixing, indeed confronting at times, but emanates his life long search for elusive fundamental truths, free of conventional structural impositions. Despite Allen's "in-your-face" linguistic unconventionality, the structure of some of the verses has an unmistakeable heritage in Hebrew rhythmic, repetitive poetry .... and both are concerned with great, impenetrable mysterie ...more
Gina
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never realized how widely referenced the "other poems" were. Brilliant. ...more
Andreea
May 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poor dead flower? when did you forget you were a flower? when did you look at your skin and decide you were an impotent dirty old locomotive?
I need to read this again in a few years.
Bradley Clacy
Too fucking good!
Ashleigh
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, books-i-own
For some reason or another I find myself very much into poetry at the minute. Maybe the level of work I have to do is dictating my reading habits but all I can say is that I am grateful for this.
My first experience of Ginsberg was when I picked up a tiny book of beat poetry after reading some Kerouac and having a vague interest in the movement. I instantly wanted to read more and I can safely say this theme continues. Ginsberg writes with more passion and fervour than any poet I've yet come acr
...more
Keith
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of Beat literature in general and I love Ginsberg for the figurehead status he holds as a definition of the said genre; however, some of what people would have interpreted at the time of writing to be generation-defining wouldn't necessarily fill that slot today.

Howl being of that status, in my eyes I never quite perceived it to be the best of his poems.

Coming away from having read everything in this collection I personally favour Death to Van Gogh's Ear!, Magic Psalm, and The Repl
...more
Vanessa
Dec 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read 'Howl and 'America' when I was at university studying 20th century American Literature. It was my favourite class, and I've always had a fascination with the Beat Generation. It was fantastic to return to Ginsberg and in particular the two poems that I had presented on with a friend in one of our seminar classes. 'Howl' is still a tour-de-force of a poem, a mixture of beauty and vulgarity, and I can still imagine Ginsberg spitting out the words to 'America'. There are some good recordings ...more
Michel
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, beat
5 stars for howl kaddish and America
Laughed my ass off reading America
, youll feel empathy anger youll feel betrayal youll feel the artist sufferance, agony reading howl
Kaddish is the masterpiece of this collection

The rest range from good to the fuck i have no idea what hes speaking about
You need somehow to be familiar with the terms used in that 50's era, the drugs terms that was widely spread among the hip culture and the whole beat generation

Overall a definite recommendation
Plus read it w
...more
Lorin Elizabeth
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You should all read 'Howl' and then you should all listen to it read by Ginsberg. Part of the beginning of what was to become the modern spoken word movement, this apocalyptic epic SOUNDS amazing. The pacing is on point: half runaway-subway-cart, half meander-through-jazz-clubs and the imagery, of course, is desperately crazy.

The collection as a whole was an interesting read. I rushed through the laborious 'Kaddish', but turns out it's the one that's haunting me most. Special mention to the "li
...more
Edward Lebowski
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, philosophy, book
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,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night [...]


Sarebbe inutile aggiungere qualcosa. Semplicemente fantastico, avrei voluto stringergli la mano e in uno scambio imbarazzato di sguardi profondi unirci in un abbraccio.
Megan
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The weight of the world is love.
Under the burden of solitude,
under the burden of dissatisfaction
the weight, the weight we carry is love."

A collection of poems you must read. Obvious standouts being Howl, Kaddish and America.

Ginsberg, you wonderful human.
...more
Emma
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
absolutely beautiful, brilliant, and thought-provoking.
Maria
May 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4,5/5 stars.
Katie
About:
Howl, Kaddish and Other Poems is a collection of Poetry that was written by Allen Ginsberg in the 1950’s. Allen Ginsberg was a beat poet and these poems deal with downfalls of the government, mental illness, drug use, questions of the universe and God and expansive consciousness.


Did I Like It?:
Yes I did. I struggled with deciding whether to give this collection 3 or 4 stars, but decided on 4. Allen Ginsberg was a fabulous poet and I can’t deny that some poems were good even if I didn’t lo
...more
Descending Angel
For the most part, not at all what it's cracked up to be. There probably was A time when I would of enjoyed something like this or liked it abit more but a lot of rambling can only get you so far. Highlights ~ "A Supermarket in California" "Sunflower Sutra" "Transcription of Organ Music" "Song" "Wild Orphan" "Poam Rocket" "The Lion for Real" "Ignu" and "The Reply". ...more
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3,615 followers
Irwin Allen Ginsberg was the son of Louis and Naomi Ginsberg, two Jewish members of the New York literary counter-culture of the 1920s. Ginsberg was raised among several progressive political perspectives. A supporter of the Communist party, Ginsberg's mother was a nudist whose mental health was a concern throughout the poet's childhood. According to biographer Barry Miles, "Naomi's illness gave A ...more

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