Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Great Regulars: Here's something I never thought

I'd write: Last month I was giving a lecture about Allen Ginsberg's poem, "Howl," to about 70 undergraduates when a handful of them up and walked out on me. I was told later they objected to the poem's foul language and mentions of sex.

College students!?

True, the Cold War-era poem is frank about sex, homosexuality, drugs, pacifism and industrial violence. True, when "Howl" was published in 1956 in San Francisco, a bookseller was arrested and accused of selling lewd literature. But the obscenity trial went nowhere. Judge Clayton Horn ruled that the poem was not obscene and prevented it from being censured.

from David Biespiel: The Oregonian: After five decades, Ginsberg's 'Howl' still shocks and inspires


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