"I SAW THE BEST MINDS OF MY GENERATION DESTROYED BY MADNESS ..."
I have developed a new found respect for Allen Ginsberg. I once went to hear him read at The Continental Divide in New York City only to walk out after he spent most of his time sitting cross-legged ringing bells and chanting Buddhist mantras. He just seemed like a twit who had become a self-parody. Now i like his poetry a lot and find him an interesting guy who was a catalyst for a lot of the other Beat artists. This post is even unintentionally timely in that Ginsberg has just been given the Hollywood treatment in the new movie Howl directed by Rob Epstein and with the poet dude played by James Franco. It is reported to be good. I recommend reading his letters. Amusing stories about trying to turn the Dalai Lama on to acid and such like. There is a big volume of complete poems too that I keep opening in bookshops intending to buy.
Here is the earliest recording of AG reading Howl in February 1956 at Reed College:
And finally there's even a doll ...