This is Allen Ginsberg's second work following Howl, the title poem lamenting the death of his mother Naomi in 1956. Considered one of his best works. Kaddish is similar in style and form to "Howl,” and based on the traditional Hebrew prayer for the dead. Ginsberg tells the life story of his mother, Naomi. Ginsberg's complicated feelings for his mother, influenced by her struggle with mental illness, are at the core of this long-lined poem.
Kaddish is considered one of Ginsberg’s finest works. As praised by Thomas F. Merrill: “Ginsberg at his purest and perhaps at his best” and Louis Simpson acclaiming it “a masterpiece.”