Allen Ginsberg Essay Research Paper Allen Ginsberg

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Allen Ginsberg Essay, Research Paper Allen Ginsberg, born on June 3, 1926 in Newark, New Jersey, was one of the founders of the Beatnik subculture. His mother was a Communist and extremely paranoid, often trusting her son while scared of her family and the rest of society. Ginsberg struggled through family conflicts and homosexuality throughout his adolescence. Upon graduating high school, he moved on to Columbia University where he, during his freshman year was introduced to Beats such as Lucien Carr and Jack Kerouac who helped him to escape his bookworm lifestyle. After spending years trying to turn publishing companies on to the work of his friends, neglecting his own poetry, Ginsberg gained fame in 1955 when he delivered a public reading of his poem Howl at Six Gallery in

San Francisco. Following the release of Howl were the releases of other important poems, and Ginsberg began to spend time travelling the world. It was in these travels that he found Buddhism and met and fell in love with Peter Orlovsky. Early in the 1960?s, Ginsberg was quick to join the hippie movement. From the beginning, he helped Timothy Leary to publicize the discovery of LSD and was a regular speaker at Vietnam War protests. Continuing to publish poetry, he became a signature of the hippie subculture in addition to that of the Beatniks. Additionally, being a famous American poet, he took advantage of the chances to meet important political figures and express to them his radical left-wing views. After the end of the Hippie movement, Ginsberg continued to attend poetry

readings and multicultural gatherings around New York City. He both retained an active social life and continued writing poetry until his death on April 5, 1997. Ginsberg?s poem Iron Horse, written in July of 1966, early during the Vietnam War, is an elegant example of his poetry. Touching on many of his favorite topics within it, Ginsberg is able, through this poem, to provide the reader with a wonderful introduction to the rest of his poetry. Throughout Iron Horse, Ginsberg discusses some of his favorite topics, including the American landscape, the Vietnam War, and religion. Ginsberg, throughout Iron Horse, focuses on a beautiful description of the landscape through his biased eyes. Clouded by his feelings about the war, it is clear that, while the country is described, in

numerous ways, as being beautiful, a much darker connotation is being conveyed. References to the presence of car exhaust and fumes, in addition to comments on factory pollution, are repeated throughout descriptions of cities. General feelings of both isolation and loneliness are captured as the narrator sits upon a bus, longing to be able to be one with nature. Yet another significant factor within Iron Horse are the feelings about the Vietnam War. From his writing on the soldiers, appearing throughout the poem, it is clear that Ginsberg has an overall feeling of disdain for the government due to its military actions in Vietnam. The soldiers that have been sent to war are portrayed as being trapped and left without a choice by the government; those serving at home are shown as

having a feeling of being trapped by an obligation to their country. When speaking on the war in general, Ginsberg shows the opinion that there?s no reason for the U.S. military to even be in Vietnam in the first place. Though it is referred to only slightly before the very end of the poem, religion is also clearly an important factor in Iron Horse. Given Ginsberg?s affiliation with the religion?s of both Buddhism and Judaism, it is clear that he, much like the soldiers he speaks of throughout the poem, also feels rather trapped. Speaking on religious figures, in addition to his own feelings, the message is again conveyed that he sees no reason for the U.S. to be in Vietnam. The aforementioned feeling of being trapped is concreted by the fact that, due to his religious