Teacher Guide

Allen Ginsberg's Poetry Lesson Plan

Introduction to Allen Ginsberg's Poetry

Allen Ginsberg, often identified as Bohemian, spontaneous, and experimental, meditates on cultural lifestyles outside of societal norms. Ginsberg's most famous poem, "Howl," inducts him into the Beat Generation as he observes "the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving / hysterical naked...." Ginsberg’s America celebrated modernism, following the technological advancements and global involvements of the Second World War, though capitalism, racism, poverty, militarism, and experimentation with substances and sex. Strong reaction to “Howl” came from the public and governmental sectors: the poem not only advanced Ginsberg into American literati but also attracted...

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