In the poem “Homework,” Allen Ginsberg most likely uses free verse to

A. Compare fixing political problems to accomplishing household chores, using a traditional arrangement.

B. Share his opinion about corruption and violence around the world, using a standard layout.

C. Draw the attention to the impact of war on animals and the environment, using a controlled text.

D. Share his desire to restore the world to its pristine condition, using an unstructured format.

The answer is D: In the poem “Homework,” Allen Ginsberg most likely uses free verse to “share his desire to restore the world to its pristine condition, using an unstructured format.”

He wants to show that his poems can be written freely without any other structure that should be followed. A structured-poem prohibits nor forced you to follow something that is not at your interest. You can freely express well what your poem is about to say.

What is a free verse?

The free verse refers to a literary device that can also be termed as a form of poetry minus the limitations of regular rhythm or meter and not rhyming with any fixed form.

There is no rhyme scheme or rhythm to this form of poetry. They do not follow the conventional rules for rhyme schemes but still communicate an artistic expression.

This helps the poet give his own shape to the poem the way he sees it. They can still make use of rhythms, cadences, alliterations, and rhymes for generating the desired effects they consider suitable for communicating the central idea of their piece.

Free verse characteristics

-There is no rhythm or regular meter to a free verse poem

-These poems do not follow any set rules or a proper rhyme scheme

-This poem type works on natural rhythmical phrases and normal pauses compared to the artificial constraints imposed on normal poetry

-Free verse is also called as vers libre which is the French connotation of the term

Why is a free verse used?

Contemporary poetry is where free verse gets typically used. There are poets who have put it to use as a technique that frees them up from rhyme and rhythm since it changes minds as per individual whims. This is why free verse also gets referred to as vers libre.

One of the biggest positives about free verse is that a poet is able to imagine a sound in any form through the use of intonations and not get limited by meters.

The free verse also allows more freedom when it comes to a choice of words and in conveying the core message to the audience. Since this form of poetry is largely dependent on patterned elements such as words, sounds, sentences, and phrases, the feel of artificiality typically associated with a poetic expression is missing in this case.

About Allen Ginsberg

Irwin Allen Ginsberg was born to a Russian expatriate and an English teacher in New Jersey, USA on June 3, 1926. He was one of the renowned exponents during the Beat Generation that dominated the 1950s and the subsequent counterculture.

Allen Ginsberg exemplified numerous counterculture aspects such as his views on bureaucracy, drugs, and hostility. His 1956 publication “Howl and Other Poems” was his first brush with the spotlight.

It was not long before Allen Ginsberg rose to prominence, partly because of his work and partly because of the non-violent protests he stages against a slew of issues. He received the Golden Wreath at the Struga Poetry Evenings International Festival held in 1986 in Macedonia, only the second American poet since W.H.

Auden to earn the honour. Allen Ginsberg dies in April 1997 in New York City from hepatitis and liver cancer complications.

“Homework” by Allen Ginsberg

“Homework” by Allen Ginsberg is a work of metaphor that describes the various issues that surrounded the United States during that period such as corruption, socio-political background, and the economy.

The poem is seen as a reflection of the poet’s thoughts and his stance against violent movements. The strength of his writing and use of words allows this poet to create a distinct reflection on the serious military unrests and environmental, socio-political, and environmental issues that the nation was faced with.

The setting

“Homework” is set in a period when the Vietnam War was raging at its peak. All across the world – Africa, Asia, Iran, even the United Nations – everyone was faced with charges of corruption. Military innuendo, sociological and political problems, and war were among the major issues plaguing the world at that stage.

Dramatic changes taking place at an international level, the continuous disturbances and troublesome situations facing the world were the things the poet was most concerned about.

Going through the work, it may seem like the poem is musing about doing his laundry at home but in reality, his concern is about the events the nations were indulging in.

In its wonderfully unique way, the poem does a critical mockery of the global situation and aims to develop a willingness for bringing together the nations and spreading goodness between them.

Critical analysis of the work

The poem is a metaphorical take on what the poet would do for cleaning the many problems of the world in a metaphorical washing machine. There is a good amount of humour, and it provokes the mind on its various socio-political points.

“Homework” gives a lot of emphasis on the environmental and socio-political problems facing the world. The poet talks about everything from cleaning the polluted Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Isles, and the Amazon River to the efforts to be put in place for helping maintain the equilibrium of the environment by returning the elephants and birds to their rightful habitat in the African jungles.

The poet talks about how he wants to wash away the violence and pollution from the world. Various examples cited throughout the poem highlight the poet’s efforts for striking a chord in every human heart. He is trying to create awareness regarding the ongoing torture facing the world at the hands of mankind.

He imbibes the sense as to how we, as human beings, should be ashamed of everything that we have done for putting Mother Earth in such a devastating state of affairs.

The act of cleaning described in the poem is believed to be an expression of how the poet is planning on laundering the world. The whole work is a metaphor that aims to awaken humankind to their misdeeds towards Mother Nature.

Tone adopted

A complete read of the poem suggests that it has a sincerer tone than what readers may perceive initially. The first line creates the impression of it being a work focused on the domestic aspects of the United States, but the universal front soon comes to the fore.

There is a lighthearted tone adopted by this poem throughout with a mix of satire and an elevated sense of humiliation that the human species must feel about its torturous attitude towards the planet. It is a metaphor dealing with how the world should be cleansed rather than a focus on an individual’s domestic affairs.


In keeping with the style that was all too prevalent during the Beats Generation, “Homework” adopts an ideal and unconventional touch that points towards the various crisis plaguing the world and stands out supreme in the era that is under discussion.


  1. About Poet Allen Ginsberg. Retrieved from
  2. About the poem Homeword: Retrieved from
  3. Analysis of the poet’s work: Retrieved from


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