Teacher Guide

Allen Ginsberg's Poetry Lesson Plan

Relationship to Other Books

Allen Ginsberg's poetry, while distinctive, owes a debt of inspiration to William Carlos Williams. A key figure in the Modern literary movement, Williams' experimentation with line length and grouping inspired Ginsberg. Traditionally, Williams uses a short line, but his triodes (groups of three lines in an informal stanza) provided an example for Ginsberg. The poet takes the triplet line structure into a very long line, making his lines of poetry take the entire length of a human breath.

Walt Whitman should also be acknowledged as a major influence to Ginsberg. The poetry of Leaves of Grass mark the first common usage of free verse in American poetry. Whitman's powerful rants,...

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