Monday, November 26, 2012

Literature Analysis #4 Howl (Part I) by Allen Ginsberg

This poem can be found here. This page also includes Allen Ginsberg himself reciting the poem.

1. Briefly summarize the plot of the novel you read, and explain how the narrative fulfills the author's purpose (based on your well-informed interpretation of same).

-To briefly summarize this poem in words for people to understand is like briefly explaining the Bible, kinda sorta difficult because this poem is all about references in Ginsberg's life. Throughout Part I of Howl, Ginsberg goes about telling stories of "...the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness..." by referencing things such as "...Neil Cassidy, the hero of these poems..." Yes ladies and gentleman, Allen Ginsberg was gay so the reference to his first love almost as inspiration shows how personal this poem is and can really only apply to himself. Through constant repetition Ginsberg develops a rhythm by using the word "who" in order to stay on track with his story.

2. Succinctly describe the theme of the novel. Avoid cliches.

-For me, this was the hardest part: finding a theme. I believe that his poem is a mourning for all the people Ginsberg references by expressing taboo topics like drug abuse and alcohol addiction. "...Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops..." In this small phrase Ginsberg makes a reference to Peyote which is something found in a hallucinogenic, which Ginsberg experimented with (including other drugs as well).

3. Describe the author's tone. Include a minimum of three excerpts that illustrate your point(s).

-The author's tone is very mournful throughout the poem because he is talking about how certain people he met in his life's stories are sad. He is very sad in how he explains things.

"...who were expelled from the academies for crazy and publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull..."

"...who balled in the morning in the evening in the rose gardens and the grass of public parks and cemeteries..."

"...who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime blue floodlight of the moon and their heads shall be crowned with laurel in oblivion..."

4. Describe a minimum of ten literary elements/techniques you observed that strengthened your understanding of the author's purpose, the text's theme and/or your sense of the tone. For each, please include textual support to help illustrate the point for your readers. (Please include edition and page numbers for easy reference.)

-Anaphora: Ginsberg constantly repeat's the word "who" in order to keep himself and his readers at a steady pace when they are reading. ALso, he uses it in order to start a new part, journey, or reference in his poem.

 -Colloquialism: In the beginning when Ginsberg says, "angelheaded hipsters" that is a use of colloquialism that helps relate Ginsberg tothe common man making his poem more insightful to others.

 -Elegy: Even though this poem isn't specifically about the dead is is still mournful in it's ways when Ginsberg references the people he has met in his life and some of their sad stories of how they were ddestroyed by madness.

 -Free Verse: This poem has no rhyming scheme whatsoever so is therfore considered to be free verse. Nor does Ginsberg make any attempt to rhyme the words in Part I of Howl.

 -Imagery: "...draggind themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, andelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night..."
 This is an excerpt that is an example of Ginsberg's imagery and how he compares the stars to machinery and negro streets in order to emphasize his meanings on society.

 -Pacing: For the majority of the poem, "who" starts out a little piece of the poem constantly making you start the phrase with "who" as if it were a completely new sentence even though the whole poem is practically a run-on sentence. Without that one word (who) thepoem would loose it's rhythm.

 -Personification: Ginsberg has this nack for giving everything a human-like characteristic because it makes the reader feel more connected to everything when you can relate to how something is feeling. "...who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of Bowery..."

 -Allusion: "...who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate the one eyed 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 if the craftsman's loom..." Ginsberg is referencing the three old woman who share an eye to see fate in Hercules.

 -Restatement: "...who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing through snow toward lonesome farms in grandfather night..."

"...who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking visionary indian angels, who were visionary indian angels..." In these two excerpts their is an emphasis in order for the reader to understand key points that Ginsberg wanted to stand out.


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