Louis Ginsberg and Allen Ginsberg
I recently read an excerpt of a discussion between Allen Ginsburg, the poet of the Beat Generation and author of Howl, , and his father, Louis Ginsberg (1895-1976). I remembered that back in high school, I had briefly been in an English class taught by Louis Ginsberg. It was probably in 1958 or 1959 at Central High School in Paterson, New Jersey. Other students told me then that he was a good teacher and that he did not get along with his son. I am not sure that at the time I knew who Allen Ginsburg was, and I did not stay in the class long enough to find out whether or not he was a good teacher. I was assigned to another English class. The main thing I “learned” there was that if you wanted to attract a crowd, just stand on a street corner and stare up at the rooftops. Soon, a crowd would gather around to see what was going on. Then you could leave and look back at the crowd still staring up. This information I learned from the teacher.