Friday, July 28, 2006

Howl, Fifty Years On

Allan Ginsberg's history shaping poem is fifty years old and still rings with holy truths. Kerouac's "On the Road is also approaching its fiftieth birthday and is being republished in its manuscript [uncensored] form.

Those of us who grew up loving this work certainly hope some of it finds its way into English curriculums across the nation. As long as we're reliving the mistakes of the past we may as well enjoy the highlights as well. The windows of America's skull need to let in some fresh air once again.

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,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats
floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs
illuminated,
who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the
scholars of war,
who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,...

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