Book #04

Television Was a Baby Crawling Toward That Deathchamber by Allen Ginsberg

'Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!-and you, García Lorca, what were you doing by the watermelons?'

Profane and prophetic verses about sex, death, revolution and America by the great icon of Beat poetry.

Oh dear. I had forgotten my struggles with the poetry inclusions in the Little Black Classics range, and it seems my brain still won’t accept verse.

I knew of Ginsberg through his association with the Beat guys, but had never read anything of his. This collection largely focuses on his social and political views, and although these were interesting given he was Jewish and queer, much of them were entirely unengaging to me, purely because I didn’t understand them. A few were excellent though, and I really enjoyed <i>I Am a Victim of the Telephone</i> for its relatability. 

There’s a distinct possibility that, similar to my problems with the Little Black Classics range, Penguin have neglected to include some of Ginsberg’s better works (no sign of Howl here), or haven’t put proper thought into the members of the collection. With this one, I can’t say for sure, this being my first glimpse of Ginsberg, but my cynical mind will hold on to this thought as I progress through these little minty green books.