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Gregory Corso was one of the many poets during the Beat Generation alongside Allen Ginsberg. He was born to an immigrant couple then the mom sadly died when Gregory was a child (Hoover). Unlike Allen Ginsberg, Gregory was not the most educational poet in the world because of his past with his family. He was put into an orphanage and was put in foster homes, but then at age twelve he was put into jail for stealing, then around 1950 he was out (Hoover). When he was in jail he described it saying, “no air or milk; the Black majority despised because I was White; and I was a real angel; they stole my food, beat me up, pissed in my cell, and I told them about my dream of a beautiful girl standing before me, at the edge of a deep well.” (Harney).

[bookmark: _t03ncj2rfsbl]Once he was out of jail he began to start writing, even without the proper education. Gregory learned about poetry when he was still in prison and then met Allen Ginsberg when he got out and eventually traveled with him to San Francisco (Hoover). He and Allen were 2 of many poets from the Beat Generation, Gregory being the youngest of them all. They traveled together to Italy and many other places, and he did not reunite with his father there but then came back to New York to get an apartment with Allen Ginsberg (Hoover). In Gregory Corso’s writing, he writes spiritually in some of his pieces. Sadly, not many appreciated his writing with text referring to Catholicism or the Eucharist (Reynolds). Gregory had a very rewarding and good career in poetry including his work “Marriage”.

Imagery in marriage

The poem “Marriage” by Gregory Corso is very story-driven throughout the entire poem. The imagery shown in this poem is about the feelings the narrator felt. “Stay up all night! Stare that hotel clerk in the eye! Screaming: I deny honeymoon! I deny honeymoon! Running rampant into those almost climactic suites yelling Radio belly! Cat Shovel!” (Hoover). This imagery in this part of the stanza made me feel like I was there in the hotel lobby hearing him scream and stare down at the people. This piece of writing made me feel I was there with the Narrator when he realized the mistake he had made by marrying someone.

The way he wrote this poem made the readers feel like it was first person like it was happening to them. “… and so happy about me she burns the roast beef and comes crying to me and I get up from my big papa chair saying Christmas teeth! Radiant brains! Apple deaf! God what a husband I’d make!” (Hoover). Reusing the word “me” placed a ton of emphasis on this poem being read in first person. Made readers feel the narrator’s pain being pushed into a marriage he does not want because of society. The narrator cannot accept marriage no matter if it was not what he expected or a timing issue (This is Marriage). In this poem, the narrator shows the reader how he is on the fence about marriage and maybe regretting it. Imagery in the poem “Marriage” by Gregory Corso is very apparent and executed excellently to get to the readers.

Theme in marriage

The theme in the poem “Marriage” by Gregory Corso is shown in many ways in the stanzas. “O but what about love? I forget love not that I am incapable of love it’s just that I see love as odd as wearing shoes— I never wanted to marry a girl who was like my mother” (Hoover). I believe a theme of the poem “Marriage” by Gregory Corso is time. Time is a good and a bad thing, but in this poem, it’s good because it takes time for people to mature. Marriage is very challenging, especially since in society people are getting married without taking precautions first. The narrator makes me believe he might be self-conscious about himself and that loving yourself is important before loving someone else. There are many different themes in Corso’s writing not just the theme of time.

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Another theme easily shown in “Marriage” by Gregory Corso is character. At the beginning of the poem, the narrator is questioning how to get married but is not sure and evolves through the poem. This includes eventually meeting the parents and how he should look to impress them. “…asking me Do you take this woman for your lawful wedded wife? And I trembling what to say Pie Glue! I kiss the bride all those corny men slapping me on the back She’s all yours, boy! Ha-ha-ha!” (Hoover). The evolution of the narrator’s journey through life in this poem shows how he is building more character in him. Eventually, he starts talking about how he does not want a honeymoon with his wife and only talking about himself. Marriage is not just about one person; a couple has to work together to make it work. This includes being mature enough to be in a serious relationship. At the end of this poem, he talks about how he is worried if he is 60 years old and not married. This area in the poem is an improvement in how the narrator started in the beginning, which means he built character. Themes are very important in a poem, but the language is very apparent in the poem “Marriage”.

Language in marriage

Language is very important in the poem “Marriage” where there is random or even odd language. “Then all that absurd rice and clanky cans and shoes Niagara Falls! Hordes of us! Husbands! Wives! Flowers! Chocolates!” (Hoover). In this part of the poem, the words are very short of effective of the message for this portion. Niagara Falls means the honeymoon for the couple; “Hordes of us” means having children in the house of well; “Husband! Wives!” means the couple; and “Flowers! Chocolates!” means always pressured to getting gifts to your significant other. These are social norms for healthy relationships, but every relationship will be different for what either person will want.

Language can also be with capitalization on certain words to make an emphasis. “Ah, yet well I know that was a woman possible as I am possible then marriage would be possible— Like SHE in her lonely alien gaud waiting for her Egyptian lover so I wait— bereft of 2,000 years and the bath of life.” (Hoover). The emphasis on the capitalization on the word “she” informs the readers to pay attention to that part of the poem. He realizes that marriage can work while women are just waiting for the right guy who they will not have problems with. In the poem, “Marriage” by Gregory Corso, the language with odd wording and emphasis on capitalization is very important in understanding some of the passages in this piece.


Gregory Corso was a very well-known poet alongside Allen Ginsberg involved with the Beat Generation. Even with a rough past and a weaker education, he worked diligently to do what he loved. His poem “Marriage” shows many images while being very story-driven and written in the first person. The themes in this piece included time with being maturely ready for and serious relationship and the narrator-built character throughout the piece of writing. Language is shown throughout this poem with the odd word choice. Lastly, the emphasis of the capitalization on words is very apparent to make sure the reader is paying attention to important parts of the poem. Gregory Corso and his piece “Marriage are a great selection from the beat generation to read about someone different from the other poets.

Works Cited

    1. Harney, Steve. “Ethnos and the Beat Poets.” Journal of American Studies, vol. 25, no. 3, 1991, pp. 363–380. JSTOR, Accessed 7 June 2020.
    2. Hoover, Paul. Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology. Norton, 2013.
    3. Reynolds, Loni. “‘A HUMANE YET DARK TRIBUTE TO LIFE’: THE EUCHARIST IN THE WORK OF GREGORY CORSO.” Religion & Literature, vol. 47, no. 1, 2015, pp. 143–168., Accessed 1 June 2020.
    4. “This Is Marriage? The Beat Generation and Gregory Corso’s ‘Marriage’.” Literary Kicks, 26 Dec. 2009,


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