Read Howl by Allen Ginsberg Eric Drooker Online


Now a Major Motion Picture First published in 1956, Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" is a prophetic masterpiece--an epic raging against dehumanizing society that overcame censorship trials and obscenity charges to become one of the most widely read poems of the century....

Title : Howl
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062015174
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Howl Reviews

  • Matthew
    2019-01-22 18:25

    Disclaimer: Do not read this edition of Howl. Drooker may have collaborated with Ginsberg on Illuminated Poems, but he's also responsible for the unspeakably bad animated sequences in the unwatchable Ginsberg biopic Howl. (Notice the description advertises that Howl is "Now a Major Motion Picture", as if that is something to brag about.) In fact, the illustrations from this edition look like screenshots from film. I don't know which is worse, the animations or the illustrations. Suffice to say they contribute nothing to Ginsberg's poem, instead exploiting the superficial. For example, when Ginsberg writes "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", the illustrator depicts the literal interpretation of someone crawling naked in the street (as if the reader had never seen a naked body, or a street before).It hardly seems necessary to cite an example when the cover depicts a man howling at the moon, as if this is somehow representative of Ginsberg's Howl. In effect, Howl is robbed of its subtext (and much of its text), reducing it to a children's picture book, an Idiot's Guide to reading poetry, a lobotomy. Read this edition instead. Or this edition. HOWLfor Carl Solomon II saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn lookingfor an angry fix,angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smokingin the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floatingacross the tops of cities contemplating jazz,who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofsilluminated,who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among thescholars of war,who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishingobscene odes on the windows of the skull,who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning theirmoney in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall,who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredowith a belt of marijuana for New York,who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in ParadiseAlley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after nightwith dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, alcohol and cock and endless balls,incomparable blind streets of shuddering cloud and lightning inthe mind leaping toward poles of Canada & Paterson,illuminating all the motionless world of Time between,Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops, storefront boroughs ofteahead joyride neon blinking traffic light, sun and moonand tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn,ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride fromBattery to holy Bronx on benzedrine until the noise ofwheels and children brought them down shudderingmouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained ofbrilliance in the drear light of Zoo,who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford’s floated outand sat through the stale beer afternoon in desolateFugazzi’s, listening to the crack of doom on the hydrogenjukebox, who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar toBellevue to museum to the Brooklyn Bridge,a lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping down thestoops off fire escapes off windowsills of Empire State outof the moon,yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts andmemories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks and shocks ofhospitals and jails and wars,whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days andnights with brilliant eyes, meat for the Synagogue cast onthe pavement,who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail ofambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall,suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grindings andmigraines of China under junk-withdrawal in Newark’s bleakfurnished room,who wandered around and around at midnight in the railroad yard wondering where to go, and went, leaving no broken hearts,who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing through snow toward lonesome farms in grandfather night,who studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telepathy andbop kabbalah because the cosmos instinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas, who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking visionary indian angels who were visionary indian angels,who thought they were only mad when Baltimore gleamed in supernatural ecstasy,who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Oklahoma on the impulse of winter midnight streetlight smalltown rain,who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed the brilliant Spaniard to converse about America and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship to Africa,who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving behind nothing but the shadow of dungarees and the lava and ash of poetry scattered in fireplace Chicago,who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the FBI in beards and shorts with big pacifist eyes sexy in their dark skin passing out incomprehensible leaflets,who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism,who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union Square weeping and undressing while the sirens of Los Alamos 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 policecars for committing no crime but their own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication,who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off the roof waving genitals and manuscripts,who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy,who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean love,who balled in the morning in the evenings in rosegardens and the grass of public parks and cemeteries scattering their semen freely to whomever come who may,who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up with a sob behind a partition in a Turkish Bath when the blond & naked angel came to pierce them with a sword,who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate the oneeyed shrew of the heterosexual dollar the one eyed shrew that winks out of the womb and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden threads of the craftsman’s loom.who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of beer a sweetheart a package of cigarettes a candle and fell off the bed, and continued along the floor and down the hall and ended fainting on the wall with a vision of ultimate cunt and come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling in the sunset, and were red eyed in the morning but prepared to sweeten the snatch of the sunrise, flashing buttocks under barns and naked in the lake,who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver--joy to the memory of his innumerable lays of girls in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses’ rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely petticoat upliftings & especially secret gas-station solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too,who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in dreams, woke on a sudden Manhattan, and picked themselves up out of basements hungover with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemployment offices,who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the East River to open to a room full of steamheat and opium,who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall be crowned with laurel in oblivion,who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of Bowery,who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full of onions and bad music,who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in their lofts,who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded by orange crates of theology,who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning were stanzas of gibberish,who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht & tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable kingdom,who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for an egg,who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks fell on their heads every day for the next decade,who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccessfully, gave up and were forced to open antique stores where they thought they were growing old and cried,who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinister intelligent editors, or were run down by the drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality,who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown and forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alleyways & firetrucks, not even one free beer,who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of the subway window, jumped in the filthy Passaic, leaped on negroes, cried all over the street, danced on broken wineglasses barefoot smashed phonograph records of nostalgic European 1930s German jazz finished the whiskey and threw up groaning into the bloody toilet, moans in their ears and the blast of colossal steamwhistles,who barreled down the highways of the past journeying to the each other’s hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude watch or Birmingham jazz incarnation, who drove crosscountry seventytwo hours to find out if I had a vision or you had a vision or he had a vision to find out Eternity,who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to Denver & waited in vain, who watched over Denver & brooded & loned in Denver and finally went away to find out the Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying for each other’s salvation and light and breasts, until the soul illuminated its hair for a second, who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for impossible criminals with golden heads and the charm of reality in their hearts who sang sweet blues to Alcatraz,who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky Mount to tender Buddha or Tangiers to boys or Southern Pacific to the black locomotive or Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the daisychain or grave,who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hypnotism & were left with their insanity & their hands & a hung jury,who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism and subsequently presented themselves on the granite steps of the madhouse with shaven heads and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding instantaneous lobotomy,and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy psychotherapy occupational therapy pingpong & amnesia,who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic pingpong table, resting briefly in catatonia,returning years later truly bald except for a wig of blood, and tears and fingers, to the visible madman doom of the wards of the madtowns of the East,Pilgrim State’s Rockland’s and Greystone’s foetid halls, bickering with the echoes of the soul, rocking and rolling in the midnight solitude-bench dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a nightmare, bodies turned to stone as heavy as the moon,with mother finally ******, and the last fantastic book flung out of the tenement window, and the last door closed at 4 a.m. and the last telephone slammed at the wall in reply and the last furnished room emptied down to the last piece of mental furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted on a wire hanger in the closet, and even that imaginary, nothing but a hopeful little bit of hallucination--ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and now you’re really in the total animal soup of time--and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use of the ellipse the catalog the meter & the vibrating plane,who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soul between 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deusto recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet confessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm of thought in his naked and endless head,the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting down here what might be left to say in time come after death,and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the suffering of America’s naked mind for love into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone cry that shivered the cities down to the last radiowith the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years. IIWhat sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks!Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless!Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy judger of men!Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgment! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments!Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies!Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless Jehovahs! Moloch whose factories dream and croak in the fog! Moloch whose smokestacks and antennae crown thecities!Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen! Moloch whose name is the Mind!Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream Angels!Crazy in Moloch! Cocksucker in Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch!Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom I am a consciousness without a body! Moloch who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy! Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch! Light streaming out of the sky!Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs! skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic industries! spectral nations! invincible mad houses granite cocks! monstrous bombs! They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pavements, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to Heaven which exists and is everywhere about us! Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! gone down the American river! Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit! Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions! gone down the flood! Highs! Epiphanies! Despairs! Ten years’ animal screams and suicides! Minds! New loves! Mad generation!down on the rocks of Time!Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell! They jumped off the roof to solitude! waving! carrying flowers! Down to the river! into thestreet!

  • Richard Derus
    2019-02-03 23:08

    Rating: 4.5* of five I've shifted my 4.5-star review of this comic book, I mean graphic novel!, to my blog Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.This is a case where the addition of pictures made a huge and positive difference to my experience of a work. If, like me, you don't want to decode words and interpret pictures because the combination is almost always less than the sum of the parts, here is an exception to the rule.Beautiful. I understand the poem far better for having read this.And someone please explain why James Franco gets so much snark lobbed at him. The film of this was quite good.

  • Elly Zupko
    2019-02-05 23:33

    Five stars for the poem, one star for the graphics and typography. This book is patently NOT the way to read this poem. Howl is momentum; Howl is movement; Howl is a wall of words that knocks you down and ties you up. This book was full of stills plucked from an animation and breaks up the wall of words over hundreds of pages. Both choices disservice both the poem and animation. The poem ends up broken into pieces. The pictures are indistinct and poorly composed, because they were never meant to be stills. The art itself borders on cheesy, with characters firmly in the uncanny valley and visual metaphor that is just too easy.This book is a dead thing. If you want a better experience, print the poem out in its entirety on a roll of butcher paper and read it out loud to yourself by candlelight in an empty room.

  • Eldan Goldenberg
    2019-02-22 15:08

    I read the poem as a teenager, and I've gradually been getting more interested in graphic novels, so when I saw a graphic novel version--with Ginsberg's involvement, so I knew it wouldn't be a horrible hack job--in Powell's recently I couldn't resist.The poem is just as viciously powerful as when I first read it; though I can only imagine it would have had more impact when it was published, in 1956. The only detail that marks it as in any way dated is the repeated references to typewriters. The significance of the age is more that it shows the disaffection and societal failure it recounts as not only not being novel--I knew that, though it's good to be reminded--but even older than I had realised. The boomer generation has somehow managed to spin this fable of rebellion having been invented in the mid-late 60s, whereas here is a long poem from 10 years earlier that oozes vitriol at the establishment and recounts insistently all the "collateral damage" of an epoch that these days seems to get romanticised as being before everything got so damn complicated.For me, apparently unlike for most of the reviewers on Goodreads, the illustrations added quite a lot. They're beautiful in themselves, the style feels very appropriate, and they fit both the individual images and the cacophonic succession of images very well. They also add something else unexpected: by letting the book put each breath of the text on a new page, they make the poem fit the print format much better than in the text-only edition I had read before, letting it flow more naturally than it can all squashed onto one page.

  • Brian
    2019-02-22 21:29

    The old cliche, "ignorance is bliss," has proven untrue for me. I read a graphic novel version of this and it made me hate the poem, because I didn't appreciate the graphic interpretation. My review of the graphic novel: below.I gave this another chance, and I'm grateful I did. I read the poem here: isn't showing off, as I accused him in my original, scathing review. The man pours out his feelings. His friend lies dying and he howls his words from a broken heart, weeping over the suffering of his generation. It almost brought me to tears and moves me now as I write this. He blames a societal force he calls "Moloch," a name in the Bible for a Canannite god famous for accepting babies into the flames of its stone belly. He ends the poem by opening his heart for his friend who lies dying in a hospital.Beautiful and powerful, moved my heart.------------Original read, one star, around June 15thI thought this would amaze and delight.Instead I feel annoyed. Ginsburg had amazing talent with prose, but, in my opinion, he over-indulges and shows it off with melodrama and nonsense.

  • Czarny Pies
    2019-01-30 20:13

    Howl - c'est l’Énéide des États Unis. C'est à lire absolument si on s'intéresse le moindrement à la littérature américaine. Ginsberg sous alias d'Alvah Goldbrook est la vedette de la lecture de poésie qui se trouve au debut des "Clochards célestes" de Jack Kerouac.

  • Ashley
    2019-01-30 17:18

    Actual rating: 3.5 stars. An excellent read. Dark, haunting, haunted, alive! Haha!

  • Mike McDevitt
    2019-02-12 17:20

    I have no use whatsoever for poetry unless it's set to music and called lyrics. So, really, for me, three stars out of five is a tour de force. How I got to this stage of my life without reading beat poetry is easy to explain: I quit college too early, never did drugs save booze, and I am a recluse.

  • Saleh Ka
    2019-02-19 23:31

    اونا که یکه و تنها تو خیابونای «آیداهو» دنبال فرشتگان روشن بین سرخپوست بودن/ اونا که خودشون فرشتگان روشن بین سرخپوست بودن/ اونا که جماع کردن سرخوشانه و ارضاء‌ناپذیر با یه بطری آبجو یه معشوقه یه پاکت سیگار یه شمع و از تخت افتادن پایین و سینه خیز کنان ادامه دادن رو زمین و پایین راهرو خوردن به دیوار و آخر سر بیهوش افتادن با تصوری از بهترین کُس خلاص شده از دست آخرین انزال آگاهی/ اونا که گم شدن تو کوه‌های آتشفشانی مکزیک بی‌هیچ ردی از خودشون/ بجزسایه‌ی لباس کارشون و گدازه و خاکستر شعر پخش‌و‌پلا تو آتش‌دان شیکاگو/ اونا که زنده‌زنده سوختن تو لباس ‌فلانل معصوم‌شون تو خیابون مدیسون‌/ میون انفجار آیه‌های سربی و قیل و قال مستانه‌ی هنگ آهنین مد/ اونا که تمام شب رو با کفش‌های پر از خون تو برف‌های بارانداز قدم زدن/ در انتظار یه دری تو ایست ریور که به یه اتاق پر از دود و دم و افیون باز بشه

  • Sarah
    2019-02-01 23:20

    I wasn't particularly impressed with this illustrated version. The images were stills from the animation which was created for the movie -- not really GN material. They were nice enough, but didn't translate well to the page, and I wasn't particularly impressed with the way they were laid out. I wonder if they had been pencil drawings I would have liked them better, and found them a more fitting companion to the poem. Eh.

  • Gabriela Ventura
    2019-02-18 16:18

    O poema continua sendo uma grande inspiração - eu acho que jamais vou deixar de ter 17 anos e me encantar com essa ode aos vagabundos e marginais e patéticos personagens que buscam beleza, gozo e eternidade em meio aos escombros do pós-tudo. Por mais cínica e pomposa que eu possa ser de vez em quando a energia do Ginsberg vai sempre ressoar em mim.Mas o projeto da graphic novel... que horror. Arte feia (stills da animação que não vi), literal demais, pouquíssimo inspirada. Comprei o livro por 10 pratas numa banca de sobras na rodoviária e pretendo deixar o exemplar numa parada de estrada; quem sabe o poema -apesar do projeto gráfico pavoroso - não encontre algum adolescente perdido cheio de ódio e de amor que ainda não ouviu falar nada sobre Allen Ginsberg e está prestes a ter uma iluminação.Quero acreditar que vai ser assim.

  • Andy
    2019-02-05 21:35

    All due respect to the poem encased in this book. My critique comes from the book as a whole.Images in this graphic novel were quite literal in their adherence to the words of the poem. So much so that I think my wandering brain suffered for that. The changes from page to page jarred me, especially in Part I."Howl" is a better read without pictures at this point.The final part, the epilogue, nixes my critique with a good mix of imagery that doesn't take the reader out of the poem. (Seriously, the ending images alone should get this review an extra star. Oh, well.)

  • Karen Bovenmyer
    2019-01-23 16:25

    My first exposure to this poem. The art style isn't one I usually enjoy--but I could feel the beat movement in the rhythm of Ginsberg's words.

  • Mimi
    2019-01-31 15:35

    3½ stars, rounded up for the great illustrations

  • Anup Joshi
    2019-02-07 16:29

    Resistance to Twentieth Century Capitalism in Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” This paper explores how the poem “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg appears as a powerful resistance against twentieth century Capitalism of America. A post world war poem, published in 1956, the poem shows strong distaste for the contemporary consumer culture, warfare and monstrous capitalism. With the rapid urbanization, industrialization and quest to pursue American Dream, working class people started to work hard in America. After being branded Superpower nation as a result of victory in second world war, America extended its business globally. Capitalism triumphed and class difference became distinct. As Hansen puts it, during 1950s “With increased living standards, broad layers of the working class were now able to achieve decent standards of living, and buy products that had previously been reserved for the upper classes – hence the phenomenon of so-called “consumerism” – the idea that working-class families could buy happiness with their disposable incomes” (Hansen par. 2). As a result, money ruled over humanity, intellectuality and the ethics. The value of poetry, ethics and morality declined. So, Ginsberg claims, due to capitalist triumph, he saw the “best mind of my generation destroyed by madness” (line 1). As the poem is addressed to his friend Carl Solomon who was in Rockland- a mental hospital, the “angelheaded hipsters” (line 2) destroyed by madness are perhaps the poet himself and his Beat Generation who advocate for equality and socialism. Throughout the poem, Ginsberg clarifies who were the best mind of his generation, how were they destroyed and who destroyed them. In the second part of the poem, Ginsberg asserts “Moloch” (line 79) as the phenomenon which destroys the best mind of the generation. The myth of Moloch comes from Hebrew Bible, where Moloch is the idolatrous god which demands the sacrifice of children by burning. He presents Moloch as the synonymous term for Capitalism as Capitalism is also eating up humanity with utmost cruelty. “Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!” (line 82). Capitalism relies on Industrialization and its mind is pure machinery, it does not regard the pain and suffering of an individual. Its only intention is profit. It is like a cannibal and sucks the life out of the people who intend goodwill instead of chasing American Dream. “Moloch the incomprehensible prison!” (line 81). Capitalism is the prison for the imagination, creativity and intellects. It forces all the genuine ideas to be disintegrated; justice and freedom is chained. Life becomes impossible without money in such world. Everything is comprehended through money and every other human potentiality becomes trivial.The hangover of second world war was not yet over and in 1955, American people saw the dawn of Vietnam War. At universities, too, “war scholars” (line 6) were privileged. The poets and students who advocated for humanism and “Blake-light Tragedy” (line 6) were branded as obscene and “were expelled from the academics” (line 7). This is the autobiographical experience of Ginsberg himself. He was expelled from the university. There was no place for the intellectuals and the humanists of the generation. They were tortured by government for raising voice against capitalism, war, class-difference and advocating for cosmopolitanism and freedom. Due to the consumerist and capitalist culture of twentieth century, Ginsberg witness that creative and intellectuals are forced to "cut their wrists three times successively unsuccessfully” and are “jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge,”. In this world, only aristocrats, warlords and rich are valued. Nobody cares for the proletariat and people active on creative works rather than on producing money. Ginsberg says "but no one cares; they “walked away unknown and forgotten.” What could the poet and his generation do when the world is engulfed by the rage of war, hatred and the humanity is dismissed for the machinery capitalism? Finding no place for themselves under the monstrous shadow of Moloch, these people indulged on smoking Marijuana, homosexuality, drugs, poetry, protests and communism. They wandered all around talking continuously cursing for the government whose only interest is war and the Capitalism which brought frustration and suicide among the working-class people. They “burned their money in wastebaskets” (line 8) resisting Capitalism, “wandered around and around at midnight in the railroad yard wondering where to go, and went, leaving no broken hearts” (line 22), “distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union Square” (line 32) advocating for the liberation from money and power. As Miller puts it, “Ginsberg illustrates that capitalism is oppressive and he proposes means to end the way of his protagonists Ginsberg effectively offers socialism and communism as superior alternatives to capitalism” (par 7, 11). Ginsberg’s major intention in the poem is to defense the proletariats group and amplify their potentiality which is oppressed by monstrous capitalism. Ginsberg describes about his protagonists ‘angelheaded hipsters’ who instead of involving in some creative and progressive process, are involving in degenerative activities like drinking, smoking, vomiting and “yacketayakking” screaming. This is all due to the despotic impact of Capitalism. The best minds are withering and being wasted. Frustration clouds their mind. As Wills points out:“angelheaded hipsters were poets, writers, artists, the mentally ill, the impoverished, the unemployed, drug addicts, homosexuals, visionaries, the disillusioned, criminals, and disenfranchised workers. They were all enslaved by the dollar…their disillusionment with society led them to attempt suicide…(they) met Marx’s qualification for a proletariat truly ready for political revolution… and were keenly aware of their oppression.” (par 2, 3)Due to the Capitalist hegemony in America, during and after world wars, Marxism and Communism intensified. The emergence of multi-national companies, rapid development of technology and massive industrialization produced aristocrats along with proletariats. Ginsberg’s mother had also subscription to Communism. As Jonsson claims, “His parents were communists and socialists, and Ginsberg had already as a youth the desire for becoming ‘a labor lawyer’ and ‘fighting the good foght” (par 19) Ginsberg’s involvement in Communist movement is also apparent. Communism was a response towards the Capitalist encroachment in America. At the third part of the poem, Ginsberg shows solidarity with his friend Carl Solomon who is in Columbia Presbyterian Psychiatric Institute to which he refers by Rockland. He keeps repeating “I am with you in Rockland” to focus his support. “where you will split the heavens of Long Island and resurrect your living human Jesus from the superhuman tomb” (line 117). He claims that there are “twentyfive thousand mad comrades” (line 118) with them together in Rockland who are singing the final stanza of the Internationale. This evokes for the starting of a new age of revolution. Furthermore, Ginsberg signals to the resurrection of human Jesus(the best minds) from the superhuman tomb(capitalism). By resisting evil capitalism and ongoing wars, with the mass demonstrations and awakening, Ginsberg asserts that they will be free soon from the tight grip of Capitalism. “O victory forget your underwear we’re free” (line 120). He symbolically shows optimism for the future. In the footnote to the poem, Ginsberg uses the word “holy” repeatedly. He assimilates everything: the soul, the body, the skin, the tongue, the asshole, the nose being holy. “Everything is holy! Everybody’s holy! Everywhere is holy! Everyday is eternity! Everyman’s an angel” (line 3). As footnote is the comment added to the bottom of printed page, Ginsberg seems to be portraying the world after the disintegration of Capitalism and Warfare. After money is burned and the world becomes free from the snare of rapid industrialization, everything will be holy and beautiful. “Intelligent kindness of the soul” (line 15) will be retrieved. Life will no more be cheap and intellectuality and knowledge will get priority in world. Alike Marxist expectation of world to reach to the condition of governmentless, countryless cosmopolitan situation at the end, Ginsberg also has the similar expectation. To conclude, Ginsberg’s “Howl” resists the cruelty of Moloch(Capitalism) in twentieth century America. As a result of growing urbanization and industrialization pushed up by rapid development of science and technology, the best minds of poet’s generation were destroyed and involved in suicidal works like drinking, marijuana, drugs, jazz and protests as a result of frustration. Warfare and money were valorized at that time over the kind soul of humanist, poets and intellectuals. Materialism ruled over spirituality and poetry. Ginsberg portrays the true-wicked face of Capitalism which is like Moloch and demands sacrifice of poor and weak people. In the first part of the poem, he shows who the best minds of the generation are and what has capitalism forced them to do, destroying them. In the second part, he shows the true face on Capitalism by comparing it with Moloch. And in the last part of the poem, he shows his solidarity with all the best mind of generation frustrated, who are in mental hospital or locked up in prison by addressing his friend Carl Solomon in Rockland. He makes it clear that once thousands of socialists come together from all the parts of America to demonstrate with Solomon in Rockland, freedom will rise. He even uses obscene language like ‘fucked’, ‘ass’, ‘cock’, ‘balls’ to attack over Capitalism. The poet seems to be in no mood to negotiate with capitalism and attacks it time and again in favor of socialism. The poem is written to be read aloud and Ginsberg even uses enjambed long lines which must be read in one breath in order to make the voice of the poem powerful to attack over Capitalism. The howling in the poem is intended to defy gruesome Capitalism and establish a classless society which will flourish all the best minds of the generation by providing them equal opportunity and nurturing their creativity. Works Cited Ginsberg, Allen. Howl, and Other Poems. San Francisco: City Lights Pocket Bookshop, 1956. Pdf.Hansen, Tom. “Ginsberg’s Howl Against Capitalism- a Film Review”. In Defense of Marxism. 24 Mar. 2017. Web.Jonsson, Linnea. “Howl by Allen Ginsberg- Analysis & Discussion”. Sonoloco. 25 Mar. 2017.WebMiller, Kyle. “A Marxist Analysis of ‘Howl”. Kyle’s Blog. 25 Mar. 2017. WebWills, David S. “Ginsberg and the Machinery of Capitalism: A Political Reading of Howl”. Beatdom. 25 Mar. 2017. Web.

  • Althea J.
    2019-02-19 18:38

    Howl was one of the most influential pieces of writing I've ever read. It's such a prominent piece of my personal history that I would probably enjoy any attempt at re-presenting it.I also have a fascination with the Graphic Novel as a medium, and am particularly interested in how it can provide another point of access into material, or how it can penetrate material in a new and interesting way. So obviously, when I saw that there was a GN version of Howl, I had to read it.I really enjoyed the use of Eric Drooker's illustrations. They provided one man's creative reaction to the poem, not a definitive visual representation of the poem's meaning, and I respected the Howl GN on that level. I particularly appreciated how the book broke down the poem to feature a line on each page. It really forced me to sit with each line, reflecting on its meaning and imagining how I would have visually represented it. And anything that prompts a fresh reading of a poem I have read a million times deserves credit.All that being said, following my reading of the GN, I watched the film Howl (2010, w James Franco as Ginsberg) and I was blown away by the incorporations of Drooker's illustrations as the basis for animation sequences that accompany the performance of the poem Howl. Seeing the movement and flow of the images that were static on the page brought to the screen a heightened experience of the poem. The film brought Howl and Ginsberg and the historical context all to life in a magnificently artful way. And Franco's performance is phenomenal.So the GN Howl gets 5/5 stars for offering a novel presentation of the poem. The film Howl (which uses the GN illustrations as a jumping off point for the animation sequences in the film) gets 6/5 stars for breathing life and vitality and direct historical relevance into one of my favorite works of art of all time.

  • Nada Elfeituri
    2019-02-02 21:26

    I'm a spatial person. I like picturing in my head the words that I read. Reading Howl as words was not an easy task for me because it comes off abstruse and run-on at times. After realizing there was a graphic novel version I immediately sought it, but I couldn't find it. I did, however, find the video from which the graphic novel emerged, part of the movie adaptation (thankfully available on Youtube).The content matter itself weaves in and out of numerous subjects, and if you're not familiar with Ginsberg it will be pretty difficult to make heads or tails of it. However, with some background info, along with the illustrations, it's a rather captivating poem.

  • Jane
    2019-02-01 23:22

    Um.. I guess poetry really isn't for me... or maybe I was bothered by the fact that a rather short poem was chopped up into parts so that it filled a 200-page book? I liked some of the illustrations.. And I guess that's all that I can actually say about something so short.

  • Kerry
    2019-02-08 18:15

    5 stars for the poem and 1 star for using stills from the movie animation add up to a 3 star review. See the movie, read the poem.

  • Osvaldo
    2019-01-27 17:35

    Ufffffffffffffffffffffff, complicado, BASTANTE COMPLICADO!, reseña en un rato :D

  • Julie Bettina
    2019-02-22 20:30

    Not having read the original poem, I felt this was perhaps not the best way to meet for the first time. The format makes it chopped up and honestly a bit hard to follow, and the illustrations... Well. Not my cup of tea.

  • Milka
    2019-02-19 16:30

    I was first introduced to Allen Ginsberg's Howl when in 2010, in my most fervent time of James Franco obsession, I stumbled into the film about the poem with Franco playing Ginsberg. I was immediately taken my the film and the poem, and ended up reading the original text after watching the film. Since then, I have read it multiple times, but it wasn't until I found this graphic novel from the shelves of my local library, that I became to realize that there was a graphic novel (or I guess graphic poem) version of it.Ginsberg wrote Howl in in 1955, and it was published in 1956 as part of his poetry collection called Howl and Other Poems. The collection is dedicated to Carl Solomon, an American writer arguably most known for his Report from the Asylum: Afterthoughts of a Shock Patient, an personal account of the shock-therapy treatment used to treat patients in asylums. Both Howl and Ginsberg are widely associated with the Beat Generation, a group of authors who became popular throughout the 1950s. The publications of the Beat culture are known for their rejection of standard narrative values, exploration of religions, rejection of materialism, experimentation of drugs and sexual exploration and liberation. These elements can certainly be found from Howl as well, which uses graphic words and descriptions of drug use and sex. Because of its themes, Howl was involved in a obscenity trial in 1957. Due to its references to illicit drugs and both heterosexual and homosexual practices, copies of the poem were seized during importation process from London and San Francisco police officer arrested and jailed a bookstore manager for selling the poem. The publisher of the book, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, was arrested too, and on the trial nine literary experts were invited to testify on the poem's behalf.The line in particular that was used in the trial is: "who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy." Yes, it certainly is pretty graphic, but the fact that someone was arrested over that feels so strange now. Ferlinghetti eventually won the case and the poem was decided to have "redeeming social importance". The case was highly publicized, which probably led to more people reading the poem, and it is this trial that is also used as an inspiration of the 2010 film starring James Franco.Like the original poem, the graphic novel/illustrated poem is also divided into three parts and a footnote. My personal favorite is part III, which is a directly addressed to Carl Solomon, the man the poem is dedicated to. Ginsberg met Solomon in 1949 during his brief stay in a mental hospital, and the "Rockland" the third part mentions several times is actually Columbia Presbyterian Psychological Institute. The poem is illustrated by Eric Drooker, who worked with Ginsberg in 1992 for a collection of Illuminated Poems (which is definitely something I need to get my hands on next). Drooker also designed the animation for the 2010 film and it is actually the film art that is used in this graphic novel. Drooker's graphic novel and the film go hand-in-hand and after seeing the film several times, it was interesting to see the animation close-up and go through it in my own pace. The more I read this poem, the more I like it. Every single time I pick it up, I feel like reading it out loud just to be able to hear the way the words sound together. Both the poem and the film are definitely bit out of the mainstream, but if you are interested in familiarizing yourself with some of the significant pieces of American literature, Howl is definitely worth a read. The film is also brilliant, and one of my personal all-time favorites, and though James Franco has turned kind of creepy in the past couple of years, he is brilliant as Ginsberg.It was no surprise to me that I loved it as much as I did, and I definitely want to buy this for myself at some point to add it to my Ginsberg collection. It also really made me want to watch the film again, which I will probably do as soon as I have time for it.

  • Jack
    2019-01-28 23:36

    Five stars for the poem. I haven't read Howl since my undergrad days, so when I saw this on the "banned books" shelf at the local library, I thought I would check it out. The poem is still powerful, and most who read it walk away with either "That was amazing!" or "What the hell just happened?" I've always thought of it as a jazz solo, seemingly improvised yet all tied together by a specific theme.The art is just sort of meh. Really, they are just shots from the animation of the Howl film. Computer animation is one of those things that gets dated very quickly, and quite frankly, as a graphic novel, I don't think glossy computer animation fits the rawness of Ginsberg's writing.The images probably work better animated than as stand alone stills for the poem. I would check out the poem in its original format, and maybe check out the film if you are interested. As for this "graphic novel," I would pass.

  • Lauren Fichera
    2019-02-15 18:25

    Undeniably powerful and tragic, Howl is an emotional journey about the madness of humanity and the true beautiful minds of our power-hungry, sinister society. Ginsberg gave me a glimpse of a world I had never seen before, each of his well-chosen words painting a detailed portrait of a place I’ve perhaps been ignorant (or perhaps just innocent?) to. At a time where things weren’t so great, not just for the gay community, Ginsberg (albeit unknowingly) became a voice of the people in a kind of messed-up way. But, nonetheless, he spoke words others were, and possibly still are, too scared to even utter, so poetically and so uniquely, I doubt any poet will ever be able to replicate his power

  • Sara
    2019-02-08 21:13

    I was intrigued (that this existed) upon finding it used in a comic book store. A reread of "Howl" was definitely long overdue, although my favorite Ginsberg poem is "America" ( The art style grew on me over the course of the book. In particular I enjoyed the image (on pages 26 to 27) for "who passed through universities with a radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war," and though the image for "Moloch" was ideal.

  • DNF with Jack Mack
    2019-02-03 17:19

    TLDRP: if you own a rug you own too much. P.S. U R beautiful, I heart you, and ms U. A musician-friend gave me this in San Francisco when I was young, fun, and liked to stay up late. So I recommend you stay up late with your musician-friend and read this, while we're young, people. Aah-ooo!

  • Patricia Vocat
    2019-01-22 17:32

    A very compelling, a tad mad and an incredibly angry poem, full of shocking imagery wrapped up in beatiful words. A bit like sledgehammers wrapped up in cotton candy swung around by an angry guy.Some parts will hit you full force, others will just make you frown at the mad weirdness.

  • Jesse Parks
    2019-01-23 15:13

    I had to read Howl the other week for my creative writing class. I have to say I quite excited to start it and once I was finished with it, I was sad it was over. Ginsberg did such an amazing job with Howl.

  • Rachael Ryan
    2019-01-28 21:12

    One of my favourite poems

  • Erin Britton
    2019-01-29 19:27

    There are arguably three works that best exemplify Beat literature: Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch and Alan Ginsberg’s Howl. While all three of these works share a celebration of non-conformity and free expression, they also share a controversial journey to prominence. First published in 1956, Ginsberg’s Howl is now widely considered to be a prophetic masterpiece, but it had to overcome censorship trials and obscenity charges before becoming one of the most widely read poems of the century. An epic raging against a dehumanizing society, Ginsberg declares his motivation in writing Howl to be:“In publishing Howl, I was curious to leave behind after my generation an emotional time bomb that would continue exploding in U.S. consciousness, in case our military-industrial-nationalist complex solidified into a repressive police bureaucracy.”Howl is divided into three main parts with an additional footnote. Part I is “a lament for the Lamb in America with instances of remarkable lamb-like youths” and contains the most well-known passages of the poem. In it Ginsberg relates the regular lows and occasional triumphs of “the best minds of [his] generation”, the outcasts – poets, artists, jazz musicians, junkies and the mentally ill – whose truth and beauty he felt was being crushed by an oppressive, conformist society.Part II rails against the state of the machinery of civilisation, represented by the demonic Moloch, deeming it “the monster of mental consciousness that preys on the Lamb.” For Ginsberg, mainstream society has – through war, politics and capitalism – sacrificed the heroes of Part I at Moloch’s alter of homogenised modernity.In Part III Ginsberg is addressing Carl Solomon – whom Ginsberg had met during a stay at a psychiatric hospital and to whom Howl is dedicated – directly, sympathising with his mental demons and stating that “I’m with you in Rockland.” With his concentration back on his friends and inspiration, Part III is far less bleak in tone than Part II as Ginsberg allows his hope for the future of the “angel-headed hipsters” to begin to shine through.The Footnote to Howl, contrary to the rest of the poem, is almost ecstatic in tone as Ginsberg uses “Holy!” as a mantra to assert that everything that exists is inherently holy and so both beautiful and worthwhile: “Everything is holy! everybody’s holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman’s an angel!”Howl is hailed as being the first graphic novel to be published by Penguin Modern Classics although really it is more of an illustrated edition [picture book?] than a graphic novel in the traditional sense. Eric Drooker [friend and collaborator of Alan Ginsberg as well as author of Flood! A Novel in Pictures and Blood Song: A Silent Ballad] is responsible of the art of Howl and it’s interesting to note that he is billed as having “animated” the book rather than having illustrated it. The reason for this, and no doubt the reason for the unusual graphic style of the book, is that the majority of Drooker’s work that is used to illustrate the book comes from the animated sequences of the recent Howl film.Illustrating Howl can’t have been an easy business, but generally speaking Drooker’s art resonates with Ginsberg’s words and so Howl: A Graphic Novel does succeed in offering a new interpretation of the poem. While I do certainly prefer the more obviously hand-drawn and painted pages of the book to those in the clear CGI, screenshot style, the differing methods of illustration do mesh together pretty well. The biggest flaw in Howl: A Graphic Novel is not found in the art itself but rather in the way the poem has been rearranged to fit in with the artistic layout. Knowing the poem fairly well, the changes in rhythm due to the fragmenting of the run-on sentences of Howl to fit in with Drooker’s ‘one page, one image’ style seem rather jarring and do detract from the reading experience.It’s actually quite difficult to reach a final verdict on Howl: A Graphic Novel. Ginsberg’s poem is still great, still relevant and deserves to reach as many readers as possible. The majority of Drooker’s art is very good and fairly evocative. However, Howl was already rich in images and so the necessity of fragmenting it and then overlaying it on different images is rather lost on me. Howl: A Graphic Novel is an interesting attempt at illustrating a powerful poem, but it is perhaps not the best way to present Ginsberg’s work.