Chapter 27. From Objectivism to the Haight

  1. Paul Lauter president
  1. Charles Molesworth Fellow

Published Online: 16 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444320626.ch27

A Companion to American Literature and Culture

A Companion to American Literature and Culture

How to Cite

Molesworth, C. (2010) From Objectivism to the Haight, in A Companion to American Literature and Culture (ed P. Lauter), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444320626.ch27

Editor Information

  1. Trinity College (Hartford), UK

Author Information

  1. American Academy in Berlin, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 MAR 2010
  2. Published Print: 26 MAR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780631208921

Online ISBN: 9781444320626



  • from Objectivism to the Haight;
  • the poem, “America I am putting my queer shoulder to the wheel” - Allen Ginsberg epitomizing the Beat sensibility at its most ironic;
  • following World War II, America's life - Cold War and rise of a consumerist society;
  • modernist poetics called Objectivism - formulated by George Oppen and Louis Zukofsky;
  • idea of a discipline, strange to commentators and media pundits - seeing the Beats as ill-kempt and foul-mouthed social parasites;
  • Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder - American poetry in 1955, Ginsberg's “Sunflower Sutra,” dominated by academic style;
  • Ginsberg's anti-war stance - shared by many other poets;
  • Snyder has been anything but a poet of retreat - in the field of comparative literature and anthropology;
  • A Gathering of Beats - Beat poets, borrowing directly from spectrum of influences defining literary heritage;
  • The Black Mountain Poets - sharing assumptions and practices of the Beats


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder

  • A Gathering of Beats

  • The Black Mountain Poets

  • References and Further Reading