THE RARE BOOK AND
MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Treasures


121 Allen Ginsberg 1926-
Howl for Carl Solomon
Typescript with autograph corrections, 7 p., January 1956

Howl for Carl Solomon
[San Francisco, 1950]

Ginsberg graduated from the College in 1948, traveled widely and held a number of jobs, ranging from floor mopper in a cafeteria to market researcher, before writing Howl, now recognized by many as the most significant of the Beat Generation poems. Ginsberg enclosed the typescript in a letter to Lucien Carr, in which he called attention to the "new style, long lines, strophes." Howl is a violent lament of the destruction by society of the poet's generation, and both the style and content clearly demonstrate that the poem follows in the tradition of Walt Whitman. The first edition preceding Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights Books publication was mimeographed, and Ginsberg sent this copy to his former English professor Mark Van Doren.
Various funds and gift of Mark Van Doren

Collections and Treasures