Howl... for time and purpose

When I read certain books I start to think about the difference in time, the differences in the world that lead such author to write. That hidden muse or that topic that they had to address. Then when I read "Howl," poem written by Allen Ginsberg from the Beat Generation in the fall of 1956, I am dumbfounded at the fact that this great work had to go to trial because it was considered obscene. It speaks truth about what was going on not only in San Francisco at the time, but the world. Today, I'd like to comment my novice point of view about a few stanzas from part I of this poem. 

"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed 
by madness, starving hysterical naked, 
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn 
looking for an angry fix,

 [...] who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot 
for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks 
fell on their heads every day for the next decade,

who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccessfully, 
gave up and were forced to open antique 
stores where they thought they were growing 
old and cried [...]."

The idea of time is something that is too profound to understand. We humans have a beginning, and in this life we have only known that everything has an end. Anything that has life seems to grow old and die, even ourselves, even as I type, we are growing old. I love how the poetic voice mentions a vote for Eternity by casting down those devices that measure time. We humans live my fractions of time, hours and half an hours. We time manage, we need to, or so it seems now in this life. If we don't it comes back to bite us in the butt like those alarm clocks falling on the heads of that wasted talent. Ginsberg blamed industrial civilization for their downfall. Then the final stanza I'd like to comment on reminds me of one of my fears: being forced to live a life that brings one sorrow and purposeless. How awful! 
I don't want today's post to be a total bummer. I guess all I have to say is be passionate in life! Don't let the disheartening world bring you down and waste your talent. Few things I'm grateful for are knowing we will have an Eternity and a purpose.


Popular Posts