Allen Ginsberg, born on June 3, 1926 in Newark, New Jersey, was one of the founders of the Beatnik subculture. His mother was a Communist and extremely paranoid, often trusting her son while scared of her family and the rest of society. Ginsberg struggled through family conflicts and homosexuality throughout his adolescence. Upon graduating high school, he moved on to Columbia University where he, during his freshman year was introduced to Beats such as Lucien Carr and Jack Kerouac who helped him to escape his bookworm lifestyle. After spending years trying to turn publishing companies on to the work of his friends, neglecting his own poetry, Ginsberg gained fame in 1955 when he delivered a public reading of his poem Howl at Six Gallery in San Francisco. Following the release of Howl were the releases of other important poems, and Ginsberg began to spend time travelling the world. It was in these travels that he found Buddhism and met and fell in love with Peter Orlovsky. Early in the 1960s, Ginsberg was quick to join the hippie movement. From the beginning, he helped Timothy Leary to publicize the discovery of LSD and was a regular speaker at Vietnam War protests. Continuing to publish poetry, he became a signature of the hippie subculture in addition to that of the Beatniks. Additionally, being a famous American poet, he took advantage of the chances to meet important political figures and express to them his radical left-wing views. After the end of the Hippie movement, Ginsberg continued to attend poetry readings and multicultural gatherings around New York City. He both retained an active social life and continued writing poetry until his death on April 5, 1997. Ginsbergs poem Iron Horse, written in July of 1966, early during the Vietnam War, is an elegant example of his poetry. Touching on many of his favorite topics within it, Ginsberg is able, through this poem, to provide the reader with a wond…
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