Ginsberg, who had studied at Columbia University, sent a poem called “Dream Record, 1955” to poet and essayist Kenneth Rexroth.
“It still sounds like you’re wearing Columbia University Brooks Brothers ties,” Rexroth told Ginsberg. “You know, it’s too formal.” So, Ginsberg says, “I sat down and just started writing what I thought about.”
The resulting rush of violent, desperate words, starting with the well-known opening lines “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness,” created major ripples in the literary world.
POETRY: Revisiting Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ at 50 by