Tag Archives: F.T. Marinetti

Allen Ginsberg compared to F.T. Marinetti

Ginsberg (p. 1360)- “who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hypnotism & were left with their sanity & their hands & a hung jury”

Marinetti (p. 796)- “We will destroy the museums, libraries, academies of every kind, will fight moralism, feminism, every opportunistic or utilitarian cowardice.”

Despite a significant difference in length, Manifesto of Futurism and Howl have quite a bit in common. Both poems are explosive. They lead the reader to read them quickly and with energy. Neither poem loses momentum throughout their texts; they keep chugging along like a train on tracks. There are many techniques that are used in each poem in order to create this explosiveness and energy. These techniques allow for not only fast, invigorated paces, they also create a beat. One could imagine the texts becoming lyrics to rap songs. This rap song like quality is evidenced in the themes as well. These poems deal with societal, cultural themes and praise the advancement of citizens and challenging of norms.

One of the elements that is utilized in both poems is repetition. Marinetti starts 7 of 11 stanzas with the word “we.” And Ginsberg starts almost all the sections of Howl with unique repeated words or phrases. The one most comparable to Marinetti is the repetition of “who” in the first section. Both the poets not only repeat words, but the words also refer to people. They both emphasize the people who are changing the world or being put down the the evils of it. And not only are they repeating these words, but they both describe these people with active adjectives, nouns, and verbs. Along with being active the words are also often aggressive. This is one way they make the poems so fast and energetic. By using words like “revolt,” “ecstasy,” “blown,” and “radiant” the poets energize the reader. The reader is no longer just looking at the page, he is running through it.

Even though Howl is much longer than the Manifesto, because it employs the similar active language, every line, every word is full of intention. Nothing seems misplaced or worthy of being left out. There is a purpose and a point to be made in each stanza. This is another way that the texts can be seen in the light of rap music. Rap started with a group of people who wanted to acknowledge topics that were often ignored and show a different cultural point of view. Also, rap tends to be very aggressive just as these two poems are.

“Up to now literature has exalted a pensive immobility, ecstasy, and sleep. We intend to exalt aggressive action, a feverish insomnia, the racer’s stride, the mortal leap, the punch, and the slap” (Marinetti 796).

In this article from the “Manifesto of Futurism” Marinetti shows off his use of forceful, insistent language seen throughout his work. Words used here such as “aggressive”, “feverish”, “punch”, “slap” give the text a rather hostile tone. This hostility seems to be a convention found in all three of the manifestos. What is this hostility pointed towards? Marinetti also gives us insight into this here, clearly blaming traditional styles of literature. This article gives us a clear picture of the divide Marinetti creates between the “old” and the “new.” The high energy, aggressive words used when describing the “new” serve as tools for coercing the reader to join the revolution. In addition, the use of “We” helps to make the reader feel like a part of Marinetti’s ideal vision for the future. The static nature of the diction used for the orthodox and conventional styles of the past are juxtaposed with the vitality of the future. “Racers stride,” and “the mortal leap” serve to emphasize the swiftness with which Marinetti intends his message to spread. The addiction he seems to have for speed parallels his ambition for a new, aggressive, and passionate future.

This passage is also able to exhibit the violence that Marinetti believes is necessary for a complete transformation. He goes on later to write that war is “the world’s only hygiene” and beauty only exists in struggle. This violence underlines the passion for the upheaval of customary traditions Marinetti yearns to see exhibited throughout the public.