Essay on Allen Ginsberg Biography

Submitted By azscorpionmt
Words: 783
Pages: 4

Allen Ginsberg Biography

Allen Ginsberg was born June 3, 1926 in Newark New Jersey but grew up in Paterson New Jersey. His mother and focus of some of his most famous poems, Naomi Ginsberg was an immigrant from Russia and his father Louis Ginsberg was a teacher and published poet himself. Childhood for Ginsberg was awkward and complicated while growing up entangled in troubles of his mother’s mental illness. She suffered from debilitating psychological problems that controlled the family’s life. All of which was heavily influential on Ginsberg as a boy. His mother later became instrumental as the key focus of “Kaddish” one of his most famous poems. Not only was he at the mercy of his mother’s disease at such a young age he also became increasingly aware of his own homosexuality as he reached puberty. The many stresses and struggles he endured as a child were the necessary evil that prepared him for the journey to becoming the gifted poet he became. Although introduced to poetry from his father as a child, in high school Ginsberg found Walt Whitman and very much admired his work. This would later help in Ginsberg’s decision to become a writer and poet. Fellow poet William Carlos Williams later became his mentor as a young man and befriended and guided him in his early career as a writer. Allen left home to attend Columbia University in hopes of becoming a labor lawyer like his father. Ginsberg knew he loved poetry and loved to write and started keeping journals in hopes of writing someday. His attendance at Columbia would be a life changing time for him but also the start of something much bigger than just Allen Ginsberg. While attending he met Lucien Carr and Jack Kerouac who were also students at Columbia and William Burroughs and Neal Cassidy who at the time were considered to be local “delinquent riff-raff” but would all later become leading figures in the Beat Movement. A bond was formed and this connection and life-long friendship would be a major part of the Beat Movement and developing counter culture of the 1950s and 1960s. Allen Ginsberg is considered one of the greatest minds and writers of his time and most influential within the Beat Generation of writers. In 1955 his talent was finally debuted in “Howl” at the center of what was becoming the Beat Movement. The stories and experiences in “Howl” were way too obscene for the country in the 1950’s when sodomy laws made engaging in homosexuality illegal. Obscenity’s charge were brought against “Howl” and the Publisher City Lights was taken to trial. “After a long trial in which poets, critics, and academics testified to the redeeming social value of Howl, it was ruled not obscene and City Lights was exonerated.” (Found SF) Howl and Ginsberg were later vindicated with these words from presiding Judge Horn, “Howl was not obscene, adding, "Would there be any freedom of press or speech if one must reduce his vocabulary to vapid innocuous euphemisms.” (Found SF) This outcome of this