The Importance of Obscenity in Allen Ginsberg’s Poem “Howl”

Mild Musings from a Mediocre Man

Vulgarity and obscenity are two adjectives often associated in Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”.  Many people perceive his use of strong, sexual imagery to be gratuitous and frivolous.  The opinion that this work is more akin to an Alice Cooper, or Marilyn Manson, designed to shock and disgust with little to no merit, is not uncommon.  I, too, have been tempted to dismiss Ginsberg as a “shock jock” of sorts but to do so may be selling this work short.  “Howl” is obscene.  “Howl” is vulgar.  However, “Howl needs to be crass and rude to have the impact that Ginsberg had intended.

To begin, I would like define the words obscene and vulgar.  Obscene, according to Merriam-Webster, is defined as “repulsive by reason of crass disregard of moral or ethical principles” (“Obscene” Def. 2c).  Vulgar can also be defined as “generally used” (“Vulgar” Def. 1a), or “of the usual” (“Vulgar”…

View original post 1,301 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Duffy The Writer

Book and Movie Reviews

: the readiness is all

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.

Hazy Head's Lament

You know... for kids

teacherhead

Zest for Learning... into the rainforest of teaching and school leadership

Bethany DuVall. Writer. Artist. Instructor.

Writing Services for Life's Journeys

Voltage Poetry

Presenting some of poetry's greatest turns

My Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

Indecent and Immortal

"Great writers are indecent people. They live unfairly, saving the best part for paper. Good human beings save the world so that bastards like me can keep creating art, become immortal. if you read this after I am dead it means I made it." - Charles Bukowski

Writing and Works

Poetry & Prose by Carol J Forrester

Mild Musings from a Mediocre Man

This side was made for you and me

Freshly Squeezed

Thoughts, Reflections, Inisghts, Zero pulp.

sia200's Blog

Experiments in education

ipledgeafallegiance

When will we ever learn?: Common sense and nonsense about today's public schools in America.

MeditativeSpectrum

My poetic spirit deep inside. . . ..is always happy to get a rhyme.

The Tribune of the People

"Giving in to hate is like drinking salt water. The thirst only gets worse." — Parks & Recreation

Pride's Purge

an irreverent look at UK politics

The Chimera Papers

It's just a blog to left ...

Kevin Bamford's Blog

Kevin is a poet and former editor of Borderlines poetry magazine musing on issues which have caught his attention

terrain

inspirations, ideas and commentary on landscapes - physical, mental and spiritual

%d bloggers like this: