“Howl” is Beat poet Allen Ginsberg’s landmark poem first published in 1956. “Howl” is a fierce cry of lament for the decay of the American imagination. The poem encompasses many of the central values that would guide Ginsberg’s life and career, including his rejection of sexual repression and economic materialism, and an openness to multiculturalism and mysticism.


Begin your study of “Howl” with an Overview of its contents and key ideas.


Read an in-depth analysis of the speaker in “Howl.”

Literary Devices

Here's where to find everything you will need to fully analyze “Howl.”


Read the most important quotes from “Howl” and their explanations.

Further Study

Increase your understanding of “Howl” by learning more about Allen Ginsberg, the poem's historical and literary context, and other literary works on SparkNotes that are related to it.