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About "Howl" In Performance Essay, Research Paper Six poets at the Six Gallery. Kenneth Rexroth, M.C. Remarkable collection of angels all gathered at once in the same spot. Wine, music, dancing girls, serious poetry, free satori. Small collection for wine and postcards. Charming event. — from postcard printed by Allen Ginsberg to publicize 1955 Six Gallery Reading The Evening as told by Michael Schumacher in Dharma Lion On the night of its most historic reading, the Six Gallery seemed to have attracted every significant member of what would later be termed the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance. From the beginning, there was a festive atmosphere to the event. To assure a loose, free spirited reading, Jack Kerouac scurried around the rooms, collecting donations for

wine, the reading itself delayed while he ran out for gallon jugs, which were passed around throughout the reading. On-stage, the poets were seated in a semicircle behind the podium. Kenneth Rexroth, dressed in a bow tie and a cutaway pinstripe suit, opened the evening with a few brief introductory remarks. Taking notice of the mixture of literary and political interests represented by those in attendance as well as by those on-stage, Rexroth compared the climate of San Francisco to that of Barcelona at the time of the Spanish anarchists, where culture survived despite an oppressive national political environment. After readings by Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure, Phillip Whalen and a brief intermission, Allen Ginsberg moved to the podium for his first public reading of

"Howl". A number of persons in attendance–including Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, Snyder and Whalen–had read “Howl” in Manuscript, but no one was prepared for the impact of Allen’s dramatic reading of the poem. Allen had been drinking wine throughout the evening and, by his own later admission, he was intoxicated by the time the lights dimmed and he began his reading. Somewhat nervous, he started in a calm, quiet tone, letting the poem’s words achieve their own impact, but before long he gained confidence and began to sway rhythmically with the music of his poetry, responding to the enthusiasm of the audience, which was transfixed by "Howl’s" powerful imagery. Jack Kerouac, sitting at the edge of the platform, pounded in accompaniment on a wine jug,

shouting “GO!” at the end of each long line. The crowd quickly joined him in punctuating Allen’s lines with shouts of encouragement, and Allen, inspired by the intensity of the room, responded with an even greater flourish to his reading. By the time he had concluded, he was in tears, as was Kenneth Rexroth. The audience erupted in appreciation of the work, as if each person in attendance recognized that literary history had been made. The evening as told by Jack Kerouac in Dharma Bums Anyway I followed the whole gang of howling poets to the reading at Gallery Six (Six Gallery) that night, which was, among other important things, the night of the birth of the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance. Everyone was there. It was a mad night. And I was the one who got things jumping

by going around collecting dimes and quarters from the rather stiff audience standing around in the gallery and coming back with three huge gallon jugs of California Burgundy and getting them all piffed so that by eleven o’clock when Alvah Goldbrook (Ginsberg) was reading his, wailing poem "Wail" (Howl) drunk with arms outspread everybody was yelling "Go! Go! Go!" (like a jam session) and old Rheinhold Cacoethes (Kenneth Rexroth) the father of the Frisco poetry scene was wiping tears in gladness. Meanwhile scores of people stood around in the darkened gallery straining to hear every word of the amazing poetry reading as I wandered from group to group, facing them and facing away from the stage, urging them to slug from the jug, or wandered back and sat on