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Allen Ginsberg

             Allen Ginsberg's Motivation for writing Howl.
             Richard Eberhart, the Pulitzer Prize winning poet of 1966, remarks, "Ginsberg's Howl ushered in a new generation." Many 20th century poets have attested to the freeing effect that Ginsberg's poetry had upon them in the late fifties. But to allege that Ginsberg's Howl "ushered in a new generation" of poetry is to degrade the true historical impact of his poetry. (Breslin 225) However, "Throughout the long history, poetry has relied on evolving rules about what a poem is, with new kinds of poetry building on earlier kinds to create greater possibilities of expression"(qtd in Where the Arts Live n pag.). Thus when Ginsberg Composes Howl he is merely building a castle from the materials created by those who preceded him.
             Poetry can trace its origins the to origination of Man. Anthropologists have theorized that the first spoken words were made [merely] because of the musical quality or lyrical quality(Sherriffs, Poetry Discussion). Then, when humans were first able to string sounds together to form words and to compose complex words with multiple syllables they were in fact composing the first poems. Early poems were used not only to entertain but also to preserve history, as was the case with Homer's Illiad of the 7th century BC. Early poems such as those by Homer emphasized the sounds of words(Homer, Illiad). Religious documents capitalized on the memorable nature of poetry. The lyrical style allowed for the populous of illiterate people to be able to memorize the religious teachings. "Which is easier to memorize, a poem or a chapter in your biology text book?"(Sherriffs, Poetry Discussion). That is because its syntax and rhyme scheme facilitates memorization in the human mind. It is this syntax which gives poetry its defining characteristics.
             Poetry is form of literature, spoken or written, which emphasizes rhythm and other intricate patterns of sound and imagery.

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