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AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis

AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis

 

 

AN EASTERN BALLAD-Allen Ginsberg

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An Introduction to Allen Ginsberg:

Allen Ginsberg, (born June 3, 1926, Newark, New Jersey, U.S. – died April 5, 1997, New York, New York), American poet whose epic poem Howl (1956) is considered to be one of the most significant products of the Beat movement.

Howl, Ginsberg’s first published book, laments what he believed to have been the destruction by insanity of the “best minds of (his) generation.” Dithyrambic and prophetic, owing something to the romantic bohemianism of Walt Whitman, it also dwells on homosexuality, drug addiction, Buddhism, and Ginsberg’s revulsion from what he saw as the materialism and insensitivity of post-World War II America.

 Empty Mirror, a collection of earlier poems, appeared along with Kaddish and Other Poems in 1961, followed by Reality Sandwiches in 1963. Kaddish, one of Ginsberg’s most important works, is a long confessional poem in which the poet laments his mother’s insanity and tries to come to terms with both his relationship to her and with her death.\

In the early 1960s Ginsberg began a life of ceaseless travel, reading his poetry at campuses and coffee bars, traveling abroad, and engaging in left-wing political activities. He became an influential guru of the American youth counterculture in the late 1960s. He acquired a deeper knowledge of Buddhism, and increasingly a religious element of love for all sentient beings entered his work.

His later volumes of poetry included Planet News (1968); The Fall of America: Poems of These States, 1965–1971 (1972), which won the National Book Award; Mind Breaths: Poems 1972–1977 (1978); and White Shroud: Poems 1980–1985 (1986). His Collected Poems 1947–1980 appeared in 1984. Collected Poems, 1947– 1997 (2006) is the first comprehensive one-volume collection of Ginsberg’s published poetry.

The Letters of Allen Ginsberg was published in 2008, and a collection edited by Bill Morgan and David Stanford that focuses on Ginsberg’s correspondence with Kerouac was published as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters in 2010. Wait Till I’m Dead: Uncollected Poems (2016) compiled verse that Ginsberg had submitted to various publications and selected from his correspondence.

An Inroduction to An Eastern Ballad:

In the 1940s and 50s, a new generation of poets rebelled against the conventions of mainstream American life and writing. They became known as the Beat Poets-a name that evokes weariness, down-and-outness, the beat under a piece of music, and beatific spirituality. At first, they organized in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. By the 1950s, poets at the heart of the movement had settled in the Bay Area, especially in neighborhoods near Beat poet and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s bookstore, City Lights.

 Beat poets sought to write in an authentic, unfettered style. “First thought, best thought” was how central Beat poet Allen Ginsberg described their method of spontaneous writing. Poetically experimental and politically dissident, the Beat poets expanded their consciousnesses through explorations of hallucinogenic drugs, sexual freedom, Eastern religion, and the natural world. They took inspiration from jazz musicians, surrealists, metaphysical poets, visionary poets such as William Blake, and haiku and Zen poetry. In his article “Driving the Beat Road,” Jeff Weiss explains, “More than a half-century after their emergence, the Beats still offer up wild style, a sense of freedom and wonder for the natural world almost unrivaled in postwar literature.”

Beat poetry emerged from the disillusionment that followed World War II, a period of unimaginable atrocities including the Holocaust and the use of nuclear weapons against Japan. Following the end of the war, the United States and the Soviet Union quickly entered a Cold War, a period of geopolitical hostility that created paranoia and cultural and political repression at home. By the mid-1950s, the Beats helped to spearhead a cultural vanguard reacting against institutionalized American values, materialism, and conformity. On October 7, 1955, the Beats gave their first major public poetry reading, a seminal event held at Six Gallery in San Francisco. Among the five poets to perform their work was Allen Ginsberg, who first read “Howl,” a poem in the tradition of Walt Whitman that Ginsberg described as “an emotional time bomb that would continue exploding… the military-industrial-nationalistic complex.”

 

 The Paraphrase of An Eastern Ballad:

 

I speak of love that comes to mind: The moon is faithful, although it is blind; She (the moon) moves in thought that she cannot express. Sheer wariness has made her gloomy.

I never dreamed the sea so deep, the earth so dark; so long is my sleep, that I have become another child. I desire to) wake to see the world go wild.

 

A Summary of an Ancient Ballad :

Ginsberg mentions the emotion of the moon and it’s very essence He intgrates imagery in this poem a lot. The first and second stanza correlates really well together because it talks about the moon and then the sea; the moon which controls the sea and the sea which is submissive to the moon. The rhyming scheme of this poem is ‘aabb’ in each stanza. The shift in the poem is after the last word in the first stanza. It is a shift because Ginsberg describes the sea and the earth in the two lines before it. I had to read this poem at least 5 to 6 times to understand the meaning that Ginsberg wanted to bring out.

 

A Critical Analysis of An Eastern Ballad:

 

Beats poetry evolved during the 1940s in both New York and on the west coast. Poets like Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Gregory Corso questioned mainstream politics and culture. They later became known as the Beats Generation. The Beats Generation were poets who interested in changing consciousness and resisted conventional writing.

The poem “An Eastern Ballad” by Allen Ginsbeg is very different. It shows that he is very creative and can think deeply. “I never dreamed the sea so deep, the earth so dark; so long my sleep, I have become another child. I wake to see the world go wild” is a interesting part of the poem. It shows that Ginsbeg has a childlike thought process when he is describing things. This is a reflection of the beats movement because it makes you think deeper to get a different perspective.

The moon is the domination figure in this poem. It has complete control over the sea, yet it is not sure how it makes the sea so submissive. The last two lines indicates the speakers reverence and obsession to this earth (world and society), just as a little kid gets intrigued. The speaker is waiting for the day that the world changes and loses its sense of dominance.

Form:

There is an “aabb” pattern in each of the two paragraphs. Point of View: This is an adult looking at the world and being amazed and captivated by in natural being.

Symbolism:

The sea symbolizes the submissive areas in society. For the moon has complete dominance over the sea, thus there is no way for the sea to be an individual and break free.

Literary Devices: Personification: the moon is being personified, “The moon is faithful, although blind; She moves in thought she cannot speak” (1-2).

Attitudeltone/shifts:

There is a naive and childlike tone that is the last two sentences. This also illustrates hope that the speaker possesses. He wants to wake up one day and find that the world around him has changed. There is a shift in line 5, because it first talks about the moons dominance and then transitions into the seas submissive behavior. I believe there is also a shift in line 8 because it brings the readers attention to the speakers hope.

Theme: Hopeful reverence is held within the hands of an idealist.

Allusion: Ginsberg uses this literary device to refer to the character as a child. It states “I have become another child, I wake to see the world go wild”. This is showing the thought process of a child because children want to see a lot of action. It excites them when something so simple happens. Ginsberg used this technique so that you can see a different thought process. Idiom: This literary device is used to describe how the moon acts. Its referred to as being faithful although not blind. This means that the moon always comes around and never leaves. It acts as if its it job to be there. Ginsberg used this reference because he wanted to make a comparison that people would understand.

 

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AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis

AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis

AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis

AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis AN EASTERN BALLAD Summary, Introduction, Analysis

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