Walt Whitman: Poems
From a Whitman Song to a Ginsberg Howl: Homophobia Creates a Forum for Biased Critical Evaluation of Poetry
Generations of readers and critics alike have denigrated the works of Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg, both equally brilliant poets, separated by a century, yet sharing a poetic vision of both political and sexual freedom, simply because the language and lifestyle represented in their work happens to conflict with the "moral norms" of society. Both Whitman and Ginsberg faced charges of obscenity upon publication of their most famous works. Public outcry began the first moment these two poets appeared on the literary scene, and continues, even today, when textbooks and library books containing Whitman's "Song of Myself" and Ginsberg's "Howl" are pulled from the classrooms and library shelves after parents and administrators label them "inappropriate" (often without having read the work in question) due to the explicit language and homoeroticism expressed in the poems. Legislators have gone so far as to file criminal charges against those who published the works. Such blatant censorship merely proves these poems are being suppressed or reviled due to the rampant homophobia (often concealed under the cloak of religious respectability) in our society rather than any real, justifiable...
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