Allen Ginsberg's Poetic Rhythm
This essay examines the poetic from of Allen Ginsberg's works, focusing on his “one speech-breath,” by which he means that one line contains one thought. Several critics, such as John Clellon Holmes, Helen Vendler, and Tony Trigilio, point out the importance of the rhythm of “breath” in Ginsberg's poems. Until 1955 when Ginsberg wrote “Howl,” he had struggled to grasp the way to compose his poems. Finally, he found his own way of composing poems, which is called “one speech-breath,” when he completed “Howl” in 1956. His “one speech-breath,” is to be based on his “breath”(Hyde 1984). This new way of expressing himself enabled him to project his inner voice in his poems. In order for his inner voice to be heard in his poems, Ginsberg tries to introduce repetitions, “paratactic style”(Burns 1983), and syncopation. When he writes poems, Ginsberg makes every effort to come close to his own breath in his works.
Departmental Bulletin Paper