Allen Ginsberg By Dalen Burdick block 6


Irwin Allen Ginsberg was born in Newark, New Jersey, on June 3rd, 1926. His mother Naomi Immigrated from Russia and when she came to the United States she met Allen's father, Louis, who was a poet and a teacher. Growing up as a child his father had the most influence on him. Allen had a journal and studied poetry in High school. Walt Whitman's poetry caught the eye of Ginsberg at his young age and he studied him throughout High school and college. Ginsberg attended Columbia University where he met Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs, who all went on to become literary icons of a huge cultural movement during the mid 1940s. The following year after Graduating Columbia Ginsberg was involved in a robbery as an accomplice. To avoid jail time, Ginsberg pleaded insanity, resulting in spending time in his college's mental health facility. After his release he took time to study an "under-poet" named William Carlos Williams and also worked for ad agency in Manhattan. During this time he started to work one of his most famous poems, "Howl". Following him to 1954, he moved to San Francisco, where he met his companion, Peter Orlovsky. That following year he felt comfortable enough to start sharing his poem. It was deemed very "Eye-opening" and controversial with its theme of sexuality and social issues. It was so controversial that Ginsberg was taken to court and he was tried for its content. Ginsberg was known to not have a filter. He got a lot criticism as well for his sexuality, but he fed off all of the hatred he got for being a homosexual. His poems represented his views about what he was seeing in life and believe me when I say he didn't hold back. Ginsberg was Viewed as a brave guy by some and a lunatic by others, and there is no in-between. He was also known as an activist, but he was apart of the beat poetry movement. After writing his second poem "Kaddish and other poems", Ginsberg became a very serious drug addict and his life suddenly made a stop because of it. During this stage he quit poetry for a while and converted to Buddhism. He wanted to become a more humble and peaceful human being. Ginsberg was definitely an eye opener, whether he caught the eye of people with his unfiltered poems, or seen as a brave man that spoke it how it was. He signified peace in some of his work and he also signified himself. His work has helped many people become who they truly are and it has also showed people that they should not be ashamed of themselves. Ginsberg started many movements towards peace and has motivated most to be the best they could be, no matter who they are.

Ginsberg and his friend posing for a picture

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