The Beat Generation

My Beat Poem.

The hum over the washer,
I need to do some work,
Kids screaming it’s not fare,
Can’t think,
The phone rings,
Another distraction,
Look at the window,
Can’t find the motivation,
Washer stops,
More jobs to do,
Kids quiet,
What are they doing,
Sit down look within,
Feel the anxiety,
Feel the stress,
What am I feeling,
Nearly tea time,
What shall I make,
Hate the thought of the same again,
Dryer stops ironing to do,
How can I work in this crazy noise?
Kids are bored bickering again,
Maybe this is enough to maybe it’s not,
Head starting to hurt.
This is my first attempt at my very own beat poem. I have tried to write things down without changing anything or tweaking it in any way. Writing poems for me is something I find hard. Even though I am sat in a room by myself I feel embarrassed and judged and there is literally no one around but myself to do this. To write my beat poem around my kids as this has been their half term was difficult listening to their noise and argument constantly so I felt that this is something that I should add as it’s a true reflection of the environment that was happening with the focus on the poem. I wrote my poem after I researched the article and it has just occurred that as a woman writing the poem I fell into the traditional trap of writing about a women’s role with in the home. I didn’t intently do this but it seems that even though we are an equal community more than ever before within my life I still conform to old values. The way I wrote the beat poem so quickly and off the cuff I feel that there should be more to it. I feel that it doesn’t give the intellectual writing that of something that I could do if I drafted and kept drafting till there was something I was happy with. However, I understand that this is the point it is supposed to be spontaneous and maybe if I kept practicing these skills I would feel less awkward and relax to connect to my inner consciousness.

The beats poets battled against normal conformities of poetry and literature. They tried to rebel against all the traditional works that were wrote and come up a new way of thinking. The Beat writers, living mainly in either New York or San Francisco, turned against Capitalism and placed themselves on the outskirts of society, as America’s most celebrated counter-culture. There was the large use of hallucinating drugs and meditation that allowed them to freely write exactly what they were thinking. They believed this tapped into their conscious mind. Buddhism especially was important to many of the Beat poets; Snyder and Ginsberg both intensely studied this religion and it figured into much of their work.
Researching the beat poets online and looking for an article that I felt that I could strongly talk about I came across lots of interesting work by the beats poets. While in the workshop we looked at Allen Ginsberg Howl and I was taken back how obscure the poem was then I realised through looking at other poets work such as Gary Snyder that this was the general feel for this movement. One thing I came across quite widely is the fact that women did not seem to have the same leverage in this era as the famous men did. I feel that this reflects the time as women were still fighting for their equality and in some was still fight for this today. Women seem to have been looked down at and not taken so seriously as they should not have been dabbling in the lifestyle that seems to go hand in hand with the beat poet’s generation, such as use of drugs and the explicit talking of sex.
The article I found that seemed to signify that there was no place for women in this generation of the beats is The Guardian’s article; I loved the beat generation. Then I realised it has no place for women by Lynnette Lounsbury. This article explains that women were pushed out of the limelight and the men were the only ones excepted to create their own individuality. This maybe because still it was deemed quite dangerous for women to be involved in such social movements and the old-fashioned values were still placed on them. Female beat poets wrote about individualism of women and the way they were still shackled to conform as wives, mothers and innocent people of society. However, for a female to write such strong poems against these norms was deemed explicit and wrong. This was even though they produced as much amazing work as the male counterparts.
In the article, Lynnette Lounsbury goes on to identify this inequality doesn’t just stop with the Beat Generation but it is seen throughout literature over time. Women seem to never really be recognised or respected in the same way as men and when female writes do write their main topic is men and the traditional conformities of female. Hopefully when in generations to come look back on our era this will have a significantly changed.