3 responses
Howl has been sitting on my stack of "second chance" reads for a long time. I tried, really tried to read this in early University, but I just couldn't get into it. I think that as much as you have to go in to some reads with an open mind, it also needs to be "the right time" -- for example, I read 1984 and Brave New World in grade 9 and loved the latter. When I read them again just a few years later (and after a year of living in Thatcher's England), I had the opposite opinion. I'm hoping that maybe I just wasn't ready for Howl at 20-something but might be at 40-something.

I also wholeheartedly agree that poetry really should be read aloud for best effect -- just as Shakespeare should be seen performed to best be understood.

There is a Creative Commons link to Ginsberg reading Howl in 1975 at the illustrious archive.org: http://www.archive.org/details/naropa_anne_waldman_and_allen_ginsberg

I think it's part way in.

Heh. Funny, I downloaded that last night, to add to my iPod. :)