Ginsberg, Allen (Irwin)


Ginsberg, Allen (Irwin)
born June 3, 1926, Newark, N.J., U.S.
died April 5, 1997, New York, N.Y.

U.S. poet.

Ginsberg was the son of a poet. He attended Columbia University, where he met Jack Kerouac. His epic poem Howl (1956), a denunciation of the failings of American society, became the most famous poem of the Beat movement; in it and later works, largely inspired by Walt Whitman, he celebrated the pleasures of psychotropic drugs, footloose wandering, and homosexuality. Kaddish (1961) is a long confessional poem about his mother's insanity and suicide. His collections include Reality Sandwiches (1963), The Fall of America (1972), and Mind Breaths (1978). Ginsberg's life was one of ceaseless travel, poetry readings, and left-wing political activity, and he was a guru of the American youth counterculture in the 1960s and '70s.

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Universalium. 2010.

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