I agree that Ginsberg was an underwhelming poet, and I do not think that it has anything to do with not understanding poetry. I'm not going to pretend to see the Emperors New Clothes, or Ginsberg's Good Poetry, as it were. I, too, tried to like him because I am a big fan or some of his buddies; Kerouac, Burroughs, and Kesey (not sure how chummy he was with Kesey, but you get the idea) . I was disappointed to say the least. I admit to having kind of a preconceived notion about what his poetry might be like, according to the company he kept. You can definitely tell that he was friends with Burroughs from the bizarre and gritty gayness in his poems. Definitely reminds me of Burroughs' Naked Lunch. But that's where the similarities end.
@Ray Davis You know? I think this a good point. I enjoyed Howl and for the better part of month or so I've been trying to like Ginsberg, I wanted to, but I honestly feel like its laughably adolescent gibberish. Too many times I finish one of his poems and think...ooooook...great. Whatever.
@Debbie Fein he was just a regular guy... He was a pederast and a member of the National Man Boy Love Association; a group that wants to eliminate the age of consent for sex with minors.
(In their case minor boys) .
Nothing regular about him and his poetry was laughably adolescent gibberish.
I knew Allen up until around the time he passed away. My Uncle was his cousin and Allen would come over many times to my aunt and uncles house. Allen was so nice and down to earth. He never spoke about his poems - he was just a regular guy.