Allen Ginsberg

(2936 words)
  • Gina Wisker (University of Brighton)

Irwin Allen Ginsberg was born in Newark, New Jersey, at 2 a.m. on June 3, 1926, and died at 2.40 a.m. on April 4, 1997. His mother, Naomi, was a teacher and a communist who was sadly unwell; his father, Louis, was a socialist, a teacher and a poet. Thus Allen entered a world of thought, pain, poetry, and the familiar pull-and-shove in a family between two sets of politics. Later he was to exclaim that it would be good if all sons’ fathers were poets. He wrote a poem which was published in the Paterson Evening News when he was nine or ten years old which reads:

Once upon my window sill
A sparrow hopped but then stood still
I asked him why he did the latter
He said to me, “It doesn’t matter.” …
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Wisker, Gina. "Allen Ginsberg". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 March 2003
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. The Beats
  2. Confessional Poetry