Allen Ginsberg at the National Gallery

I invested in a hefty collection of Ginsberg’s poetry before heading off to the National Gallery of Art exhibition devoted to his photography. I knew the famous poems, “Howl,” “Wichita Vortex Sutra,” “Kaddish,”  from anthologies and other sources, but I hadn’t spent sustained time with Ginsberg’s writing. Now I wish I’d done a little less homework.  The early poems have such volcanic and obscene energy, they’re wonderful. But much of the later work is just embarrassing. And the songs? Yikes. The photography has two appeals: A voyeuristic eye on the Beats, and in some cases, evidence of a good compositional sense. I reviewed the show in today’s The Washington Post.

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Filed under Art, Museums, Photography, Uncategorized

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