Irwin Allen Ginsberg (June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) was an American Beat poet born in Newark, New Jersey. Ginsberg is best known for Howl (1956), a long poem about consumer society's negative human values and the self-destruction of his friends among the beat generation.
Ginsberg's poetry was strongly influenced by modernism, romanticism, the beat and cadence of jazz, his Kagyu Buddhist practice and his Jewish background. He considered himself to have inherited the visionary poetic mantle handed from the English poet and artist William Blake on to visionary and homoerotic poet Walt Whitman. Ginsberg was also influenced heavily by the American poet William Carlos Williams. The power of Ginsberg's verse, its searching, probing focus, its long and lilting lines, as well as its New World exuberance, all echo the continuity of inspiration which he claimed as his own.
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