Saturday, October 9, 2010

Drugs Are a Bet With Your Mind...

The Beat Generation; the beginning of a combination of drugs and poetry?
"Nobody knows whether we were catalysts or invented something, or just the froth riding on a wave of its own. We were all three, I suppose." - Allen Ginsberg
What exactly was the Beat Generation? I guess that we can't actually put a finger on what it was exactly, but for the most part the Beat Generation was a group of poets set on liberation, revolution and evolution of rhythm in poetry. These poets rebelled against conformity in the 1950s post-war era, especially consumerism. They rejected uniform middle-class culture and wanted to get rid of the sexual and social conservatism during that time period. This past week, we studied Allen Ginsberg, one of the most influential poets in the Beat Generation.
Since many of the poets in the Beat Generation were said to have an "avant-garde" lifestyle including crime, traveling, listening to jazz and excessive drug use, many people didn't not understand their outlashes against conformity.
"[Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg] were drawn to literature and began using drugs like benzedrine and marijuana in their dormitory rooms to inspire them to create what they called a "New Vision" of art."
The poem we read, "A Supermarket In California", has been said to be greatly influenced by Ginsberg's experience with drugs. Ginsberg's aimless walk through the streets with his thoughts filled with Walt Whitman which later drift to hallucinations in the fruitt cause the reader to be convinced of this. Since many people of the Beat Generation were notorious for their drug use already, there would be no reason to disagree with this assumption.
Other instances of drug use through the Beat Generation are innumerable, however two most known examples are Jack Kerouac's "On The Road" and Allen Ginsberg's "Howl". Beat poets used hallucinogenic drugs to achieve higher consciousness similarly to meditation and Eastern religion. Today, rap has been greatly influenced by the Beat Generation. Is there any correlation between drug use and rappers today because of this? I wonder, how would the Beat Generation have been if they hadn't been influenced by creativity from drugs?


Boaz Saidman said...


I really like this post. The Beats can't exactly be defined, I think that was great. The "New Vision" is also a great point.

Good work!!

Dylan Lefkowitz said...

I like this one, it is a very interesting take on the Beat movement and how it influenced rap. I also lie how you keep the end hanging with two questions, making the reader question all that he read...I Like it!

Donald Bradley said...

Rachel Leah Statler,
I have to say that overall this is a great job!!!!! I like how you relate this to the present day how many rappers have been influenced by the beat movement. I also like how you kept us hanging at the end to ponder about a question.Visually i enjoy the pictures that are posted too... God job ! love you ok byee