A review by geniaconstance
Howl and Other Poems, by Allen Ginsberg


To be honest, I ardently hate Beat generation for numerous reasons and thus a line must be drawn to separate the art from the artist. For I quite love this collection. It's highly cinematic and relatively accessible. The themes generally revolve around the American dream. Ginsberg voiced his concern towards what America has become through this oeuvre.

America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.

This verse is probably my favourite. It seems so simple and yet very vulnerable. In this specific poem, one sees how the speaker talks to America as if talking to a friend. And that verse sounds like the speaker offers America a help but at the same time the speaker feels like in order to do so, America must first accept the speaker as their true self since lgbtq+ community at the time wasn't very welcome. As shown in A Supermarket in California, America was still holding to the concept of heterosexual families:

Whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!

Well, I guess I get down to Beat poetry too.