RAI (Italian television)’s hommage to Allen is our focus today. Some of the footage we’ve already featured (here and here) but it’s a tight little piece, and particularly interesting, perhaps, for its focus on several of Allen’s iconic photos (plus – added bonus! – you get to hear a little of Allen’s recitation of his notorious 1986 poem, “Sphincter”!)
Notes: To the background strains of “Do The Meditation Rock“, seen with Fernanda Pivano (naturally), whose comments form the essence of the piece – images of Ginsberg, Huncke, Burroughs, Kerouac, Corso, Orlovsky, etc – audio (
[Peter Orlovsky, Allen Ginsberg, Steven Taylor, March 1983. Photo c. Elsa Dorfman]
Elsa Dorfman, doyenne of the over-sized Polaroid, one of the most familiar, and most sensitive, photographers of Allen, turns 75 today. Happy Birthday “Ellie”!
We draw your attention to her web-site here (as she explains, “My web site is my obsession”) – it’s based loosely on the Boston/Massachusetts (MBTA) subway map, with different subway lines and stations representing different areas of interest (Allen has, pretty much, a whole line – the orange line, starting at Housebook (“Elsa’s … Read More
[Portrait of William Carlos Williams in front of his office, 1950 via Beinecke Collection, Yale]
I think probably the breakthrough was, specifically, when people began recognizing what he [Williams] was doing, and began the contagion spread, and began actually acting on the instruction of his practice. (This was) probably 1948. And I say that, because, in 1948, he went out on a reading tour. He read at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (and I saw him read there, and first understood what he was doing, because before that, I hadn’t been able to read his poems,
AG: “…love that I love with beauty and delight and wit, or something..” “I am homesick after mine own kind” [Allen quotes from Pound’s 1907 poem, “In Durance” here] – If you have a chance, look that up, it’s in Personae by Pound (that’s his early poems) – (“…I know the glory/ of th’ unbounded
“The Raper from Passenack” – [Allen reads William Carlos Williams’ poem, “The Raper from Passenack” in its entirety] (“..I wish I could shoot him. How would/ you like to know a murderer?/I may do it..”) – It’s a character again. Like somebody talking for real. Somebody very intelligent, actually. Sounds to me like somebody very intelligent in total shock, coming out of a total shock, but the doctor is listening, Doctor Williams is listening. He’s got to treat the lady. “Invocation and
The esteemed and recommended Dangerous Minds site posted this one, a week or so back, Circuit Earth, a 1970 documentary, “with Ralph Lapp, Paul Ehrlich, (the) Broadway cast of Hair, Allen Ginsberg, Redbone, George Wald, Edmund Muskie, Jerry Rubin, Alan Watts, The Black Butterfly, Ed Sanders, and Community Groups and Citizens of Philadelphia”.
As they note, “filmed in Philadelphia during the first Earth Day in April of 1970, Circuit Earth is a fascinating glimpse at the roots of the ecology movement and a sad reminder of how little things have changed when it comes to man’s