Beat Movement


Beat Movement Essay, Research Paper

The “Beat Movement” in modern literature has become an important period in

the history of literature and society in America. Incorporating influences such

as jazz, art, literature, philosophy and religion, the beat writers created a new

and prophetic vision of modern life and changed the way a generation of people

sees the world. That generation is mow aging and its representative voices are

becoming lost to eternity, but the message is alive and well. The Beats have

forever altered the nature of American consciousness. The Beat Generation of

writers offered the world a new attitude. They brought to society a

consciousness of life worth living. They offered a method of escape from the

stultifying, unimaginative world we live in, through the exploration of one’s

intellect. Beat has had many different contemporary implications in music,

poetry and literature. Literature has been liberated considerably. The poetic

form has been changed to inaugurate a new poetic form, an American form.

There was less emphasis on tradition and more emphasis on the individual

talent. (” One of the most important contributions to

contemporary verse was to take poetry out of the classrooms and into

non-academic setting?coffee houses, jazz clubs, large public auditoriums and

even athletic stadiums. Poetry is more popular and more read than anytime in

history, not only spoken poetry but also sung poetry of a high order. “The

literature, coordinated by pop music, with a way of dressing, with a way of life,

it something that has influenced the youth of the world not only in Western

countries but Eastern countries as well. (” Music has been

influenced greatly by Beat writing. The lyrics of many great songs have

forever been changed by the writing of the Beat Generation. “Bob Dylan’s

favorite poet was Allen Ginsberg. Ginsberg became one of Dylan’s greatest

friends. He worked on many projects with Dylan…The band Rage Against the

Machine has many of Ginsberg’s poems and words show up in their songs. For

instance the song ‘Bulls on Parade’ includes Ginsberg ‘Hadda Been Playing on

the Jukebox’ (” Generation X writers are compared to the

Beat writers. Many people say that the “generation coming to age has the

potential to bring a new vision to society. The Beats thumbed their noses at the

corporate world just like Generation X does today.

(” Many writers of Generation X have

been influenced by the writing like Andy Clausen, Eliot Katz, Geoffrey

Manough and Ed Sanders. There are many writers that have been influenced

but have not been included in the Generation X section. These writers took up

the flame of the Beat flavor, keeping it strong. James Wright was one of the

writers that kept the flame going. “He was much admired poet of his

generation…(” His works have a “sense of Midwestern

American bleakness…(www.rohan.sdsu)” One of his poems goes like this “My

bones turn to dark emeralds Your hands turn yellow in the ruins of the sun

Suddenly I realize That if I stepped out of my body I would break Into blossom

(” Another such writer with Beat flavor would be

Adrienne Rich. “Rich’s work established the importance of gender in shaping a

poetic consciousness and she became a mentor to thousands of women,

enabling them to ’speak the unspeakable,’ to authenticate their unique

experience of reality. (” Beat writing has made a great

impact on the writing of today’s generation. It has allowed people to be more

open with themselves and the people that are reading their works. It is also

allowed people to be more open minded to new ideas that these works brought

to the surface for everybody to see. Where early writing was stiff, beat writing

allowed for the writing to come after it to beat to a different drummer. Beat

writing has expanded the world of literature, poetry and music to a higher level

for people to enjoy.

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