James Franco reads Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” in this video clip from the film. “Howl” is considered to be one of the great poems of the Beat generation. The poem caused controversy when it was published in the 1950’s. It was the subject of an obscenity trial in 1957 as the poem depicted homosexual and heterosexual sex at a time when sodomy laws in the U.S. made homosexual relationships illegal in all U.S. states. Allen Ginsberg wrote in his poems of his views that opposed sexual repression, militarism and capitalism. “Howl” is the subject of a film starring James Franco that was released in 2010.