Every once in a while, we visit Beat kitsch (with the essential caveat that “Beatnik” is not “Beat” – that sneering contemporary put-down term, coined, as is now universally recognized, by San Franciscan newspaper-columnist, Herb Caen). Hear Allen with Margaret Mead, as early as 1959, setting the record straight.
Rod McKuen, the veritable poster-boy for poetic kitsch, was, it seems, under a pseudonym, significantly responsible for this “Beatnik anthem”
We, frankly, prefer this version – Bluekilla (from 1989)
and doesn’t it have more-than-a-passing-resemblance to this “anthem”? (from the heady ol’ days of 1977)
One more gem from the Salem State 1973 Kerouac symposium. We’ve already featured it here and here – but – in answer to a panelist’s question – “Is it true (that) the last time you visited Jack that you were turned away?”
Allen tries to play it down, but Peter (on an anti-alcohol rant) is as vehement as ever – and Gregory emerges as a (happy?) fatalist. Here’s a transcription:
Steve Salvo (moderator): Is it true the last time you visited Jack that you were turned away?
AG: Yeah..his mother (had) had a stroke and..he called us..we spoke on the … Read More
AG: A couple more useful things for you – “A Few Don’ts” – for poets. This is how (Ezra) Pound defines his image (it’s on page 4 of the Literary Essays) – “An “Image” is that which presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time” – That’s very much like the haiku. You could say the haiku satisfies that “intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time” [Allen continues reading from Pound] – “I use the word “complex” rather in the technical sense employed by the newer … Read More
[Allen, reading from (Ezra) Pound’s “A Retrospect”] – “3) As regarding rhythm – to compose in the sequence of the musical phrase, not in the sequence of a metronome” – (The metronome would be the practice of accentual prosody. Duh-dah, duh-dah, duh-dah, duh-dah, duh-dah. Duh-dah, duh-dah, duh-dah, duh-dah. prosody – Duh-dah, duh-dah, duh-dah, duh-dah, duh-dah. Duh-dah, duh-dah, duh-dah, duh-dah. So this would be “in … Read More
AG: There’s an interesting development out of American Imagism which takes into account this problem of how do you deal with your emotions, or your thoughts, or your own speech, or your generalizations, as part of the haiku, or part of the construction of a poem. The Imagists insisted that everything be kept down to the bare minimum of a kind of objective description of the external facts. And by means of combinations of external facts noticed, you can conjure up, as in a haiku, the soul, if you want to, or the spirit, or the feeling, or the thought, … Read More
Seven years ago on this day, aged 101 (we kid you not!) the poet and teacher Richard Eberhart passed away. Not so much as poet but as reader and critic, Eberhart played a significant, one might even say critical, role in Allen Ginsberg’s life (and, most especially, in the dissemination of his long poem, “Howl”). One of the earliest of the establishment figures to seriously give credence to the literary achievement of the Beats, he was the author, in September 1956, of an important and influential article in the New York Times Book Review , “West Coast Rhythms”. “Ambiguity”, … Read More