Three poet-representatives of the socalled "beat generation" made their first formal visit to the University community last night in New Lecture Hall under the auspices of the Harvard Law School Forum and the newly formed Harvard Poetry Forum.
Mr. Allen Ginsberg, Mr. Gregory Corso and Mr. Peter Orlovsky were greeted by a crowd which filled New Lecture Hall to capacity-although the audience thinned out somewhat during the course of the evening-and several hundred were turned away.
Garbed in the extremely informal attire which has become their trademark, Mr. Corso and Mr. Ginsberg read extensively from alternately long and short poems, with Mr. Corso showing a much stronger tendency towards humor in his writing than did Mr. Ginsberg. The latter, to the considerable surprise of most of the audience, which had come in search of a sideshow, was an unexpectedly "serious" poet, especially in the long prose poem, Kaddish, and in the well-known Howl with which he ended his reading.
During the course of the question period which followed the reading, Mr. Ginsberg and Mr. Corso entertained the audience with some amusing observations on the "beat generation." Mr. Ginsberg allowed as how he thought "being called a beatnik is a real drag: I'm a poet;" and called spontaneity the foundation of his work--"Writing poetry is like going to the bathroom."
Mr. Orlovsky did not say a word during the entire reading, and it was only during the question period that, upon the urging of the audience, he read three of his short poems.