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The Beat Generation and poetry have a long history together.  Poetry in its simplest form  is a way for the author to put down emotion and feeling on paper.   The Beat Generation, and especially Allen Ginsberg’s, search for a explanation of what being American means, fits perfectly into the freedom that comes with poetry.  The use of sprawling sentences and short, sharp statements makes many Beat poems and works stand out from the rest of the rhythmic rhymes of other poetry found in the United States.  “America”, is an epic poem written by Allen Ginsberg in 1956.  In essence, this piece of work is a rant about the way that Ginsberg feels about the path America was taking in the 50s. “America” was written during the height of the red scare and McCarthyism.  In a time where communism and anything anti-American were seen as evil, Ginsberg challenges the norm and publishes an opinionated rant where he challenges the beliefs and ideals of the United States and brings to question how America has changed, in Ginsberg’s opinions, for the worst.    When examining “America”, one must look into the different voices, or points of view Ginsberg uses as well as the structure of the poem itself.  Throughout the majority of the poem, America is addressed in the second person.  With Ginsberg’s sentences begining with “America…” and his use of the pronoun “you,” Ginsberg is speaking directly every person in America; anyone one from government officials to factory workers.  After he reads the line “America I still haven’t told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over from Russia,” he follows it with “I’m addressing you” as if to remind the reader that they are the one being spoken to.  The structure of the poem follows the the form of free verse poetry.  The lack of structure in some parts of the poem gives Ginsberg the freedom to say exactly what he wants to say.  The Beat Generation term “First Thought, First Write” is a perfect way to sum up the way that the Beats write and think.  Within Ginsberg’s poems and especially “America”, he says exactly what he wants to say and writes his exact thoughts down on paper to give his poems the feeling of authentic, colloquial speech.  In addition to using long sentences to give a colloquial feeling, Ginsberg also uses shorter sentences to give a sense of urgency in his writing.  Much of the poem is a criticism of capitalism and the way that the government is dealing with leading the nation.  Ginsberg’s urgency for the government to change their ways is prevalent in the short sentences and the fast pace of much of the writing.  He frowned on the stuffy, rigid rhythms of conventional poetry, and careful, fussily metered lines.  In fact, he wasn’t even a big fan of revising. The idea for Ginsberg was for poetry to capture the spontaneity of the mind and the voice as it emerges, in a perfect representation of exactly what he wanted to portray.Much of Ginsberg’s own thought crime centers around the theme of communism and Russia.  He does not attempt to hide the fact that he is a communist sympathizer.  He references the other million communists, or Trotskyites, living in America and charges America with being unworthy of them.  Ginsberg becomes somewhat antagonistic towards the communist issue as he boasts “You should have seen me reading Marx.  My psychoanalyst thinks I’m perfectly right.”  In this statement he is proclaiming that normal, intelligent people can support communism.  Ginsberg’s connection to communism is not only a means for a betterment of society but also a huge middle finger to the American society and how the American ideals of the day clash with the counterculture of the Beat Generation.  Ginsberg speaks to the resentment he has for the American ideals and values in the 50s in a stanza from “America.” America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing. America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956. I can’t stand my own mind. America when will we end the human war? Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb I don’t feel good don’t bother me. I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind…This excerpt gives realizations into how Allen Ginsberg’s emotions are directed in an almost revengeful hate toward America, one example found with his statement, “…America when will we end the human war, Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb…”.  This line from the poem gives insight into how Ginsberg felt about the war and the resentment he had towards the nuvlear testing and destruction that came with the war.  Within this excerpt from “America” the statement “…America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17th, 1956…”, speaks to the extreme wealth of many individuals after the war.  The phrase brings a history of wealth, the most prominent definition portraying America as it soaked in the economic wealth because of wartime manufacturing.  Ginsberg’s opinions on the wealth of Americans after the war is seen in this statement.  After the huge explosion in wartime industry, many people, including Ginsberg,  were disgusted in the way that many people became incredibly rich from the bloody war.    Much of Ginsberg’s negative feelings about America stem from the political and socio-economic scene of the day.  The 1950s were a time of cookie cutter houses and white picket houses.  In Ginsberg’s opinion, everything about these values are false.  He speaks to the nature of American life during his time in the statement, “Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time Magazine?  I’m obsessed by Time Magazine.”  America was founded on a set of values that made it different from the rest of the world however Ginsberg discusses the how he believes many of these values have been contorted.  

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