Monday, April 2, 2012

Researching parodies...

I am researching parodies of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" for a lecture I am giving this month. So far I have found "Whisper", "Yelp" and "Tweet". Do you know of any other good ones?

Here are the first lines from the ones I have found (follow the links above for the whole poem):

Whisper - Jeffery Bilbro
I see the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, clamoring futile
locked in cubicles, staring wide-eyed at shifting, flickering screens that monitor the
pulses of nations,
chained by headphones, cell phones, emails, texts, breaking news, virtual friends,

Tweet - Oyl Miller
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by brevity, over-connectedness, emotionally starving for attention, dragging themselves through virtual communities at 3 am, surrounded by stale pizza and neglected dreams, looking for angry meaning, any meaning, same hat wearing hipsters burning for shared and skeptical approval from the holographic projected dynamo in the technology of the era

Yelp - Tiffany Shlain & Ken Goldberg
I saw the best mind of my generation distracted by text messaging, emailing, tweeting, dragging their cursors through google links at dawn, looking for an info fix,
Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ultra-fast heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night.


  1. That's fantastic! All that comes to mind is the They Might be Giants song 'I should be allowed to think', though more appropriation than parody?


  2. Parody is really deep respect - oh really? -

    1. Yes I agree, parody can show respect - or not.

  3. You might like to look at part of my story "The Howling Twins" here:

    "‘The Howling Twins’ was derived from Allen Ginsberg, «Howl», and Laura Lee Hope (a pen-name of Edward Stratemeyer), «The Bobbsey Twins on a Bicycle Trip». It was first published in Conjunctions in 1994."

    It was derived by a process of linguistic transformation too complex to explain here: it is explained (more or less) on this page:
    "Mr Rubenking’s ‘Breakdown’" at

    John Tranter

    1. Thanks for that John. Really interesting stuff. Love the line, "Stanley, who is still cursing at the harpies of the poem of life, burning a light in his naked room as a shrine."


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