Howl
Howl
by Allen Ginsberg
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"The American River"

Symbol Analysis

The end of the section II is a long extended metaphor about a river that sucks up all the worthwhile things in the world. Traditionally, rivers symbolize the passage of time.

  • Lines 90-93: These lines offer an extended metaphor likening "Visions," "dreams," "epiphanies," "new loves," and other intense actions and experiences to the wreckage swept away in the flood of water in a river. They fall over a waterfall and get stranded on "the rocks of Time."