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Howl, Kaddish and Other Poems

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,712 ratings  ·  128 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 icon and vi

naked'

...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…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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 ·  1,712 ratings  ·  128 reviews


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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
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
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
...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.
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.
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 Gîdei
“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)
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, when I sa
...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 absol
...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.
Andreea Lupei
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.
Ashleigh
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, poetry
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
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 recommendat
...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.
Maria
May 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4,5/5 stars.
Emma
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
absolutely beautiful, brilliant, and thought-provoking.
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
...more
Abbie
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Ginsberg is a legend. Perhaps at times he rambles, but his rambles are of a wonderful quality and force one to feel so intensely. I haven't felt emotion like this for a long while; I require new experience.
Nikki
Sep 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookshelf
I didn't get along with all of the poems in here, but I still really enjoyed and appreciated it.
I love Howl, it's so expressive and haunting and deserves its praise (especially part II!! woah!).
By far my favourite was Death to Van Gogh's Ear !! what a beast of a poem
Ishmael
Among the few times I've read poetry that didn't feel like prose distorted, but prose refined, purified and concentrated.

"The message is: Widen the area of consciousness."
Teo Mechea
May 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Although some beautiful ideas and visuals, I found it too disjointed for my taste. Most of the time it felt I was reading the incoherent ramblings of a terribly high dude on some serious drugs, which is most probably what actually happened.
Jessie (thatchickwithabook)
Wow. This has been on my reading list for some time after seeing it under a list of fifty books to read before you die and they weren't kidding. Howl, Kaddish and America were my favourites and I urge everyone planning on reading this and anyone who has read this to listen to Allen reading his poetry on YouTube. There are some fantastic authentic audios from the 50s to listen to, in particular America.
Tim Edison
my dick doesn't work correctly and there is absolutely nothing worse for a man even if you take viagra and spend all that money and the side effects and accept that you are not really a man because you have to take a pill to have sex to be a complete man and you instead avoid television because you have suffered enough and because it exists only to affirm your infirmity your shame and remind you that you will never feel like a regular person smug with indifference and complacency and you don't r ...more
Martin Knox
I picked this up because of the connection with Kerouac and The Beat Generation, and I will hopefully go back to it when I can ‘read’ poetry. It’s hard. I took some great images from the majority of these poems, even though, as a whole, they are all nonsense.
Richenda
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
some real gems in there, Howl - inspiring
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2,925 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
“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.” 818 likes
“Which way will the sunflower turn surrounded by millions of suns?” 91 likes
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