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by Allen Ginsberg

Howl Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Why was this poem censored?
  2. Is there a point to Ginsberg's outrage, or is he just letting off steam?
  3. What is the poem's attitude toward religion? Would you consider this to be a "religious poem"?
  4. Why do you think so many people who don't usually like poetry love this poem?
  5. Does Howl celebrate drug use or condemn it?
  6. What do you think is the single most striking image of the poem in your mind, and why?
  7. Do you think the poem's political views are admirable or irresponsible? How might a political opponent respond to Howl?
  8. What did you learn about Beat culture in general from reading the poem?
  9. Are there elements of humor in this poem, or is the poem completely dominated by anger and sadness?

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