Mind, Mouth and Page – 14 (Haiku continues)

[Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827) – Self-Portrait]

“Picked up on a pilgrimage/ and put together/ the scarecrow” – “Harvest sparrows/ Shot by the arrow of the scarecrow/ they fell into the sea” (“Shot by the scarecrow’s arrow/ The harvest sparrows/ fell into the sea”) – “In this fleeting world/ the scarecrow also/ has eyes and a nose” – Wild boar – “The autumn tempest/ blows along also/ even wild boars” ((see?) so he doesn’t have to say it’s a big tempest) – “The morning glories/ in the faces of men/ there are faults” (Issa) – “The maiden flower/ stands there/ … Read More

Mind, Mouth & Page – 13 (Introduction to Haiku)

[Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) by Sugiyama Sanpu (1647-1732)]
AG: Haiku is like a real brief snapshot, usually consisting of two images, unconnected, except by the mind of the reader and the writer. So it’s sort of like whatever generalization is made, is obvious in the little tiny poem itself, it doesn’t need a generalization, it’s just two facts put together. And one of the most interesting of the haiku writers is a fellow named Issa, I-S-S-A,
I think, 17th century, who is just like William Carlos Williams. He’s the sort of Japanese haiku Williams – “New Years Day/
Read More

Mind, Mouth and Page – 12 (Williams and Imagism)

[Des Imagistes – An Anthology (edited by Ezra Pound) – Albert and Charles Boni, New York, 1914]

AG: “On the grooved drain-board/ to one side is/ a glass filled with parsley -/ crisped green/ Waiting/ for the water to freshen –” (William Carlos Williams)

It’s almost like a little haiku – the sharpness of it. So I thought, is Williams doing something new? or is he doing something that’s traditional and classic in poetry? And it turns out he’s doing something classic when he’s focusing his eyes so clearly, and focusing his senses on the natural object. And so … Read More

Allen Ginsberg’s 86th Birthday

[Self portrait on my 70th birthday, in Borsolino hat and cashmere silk-scarf from Milan, and Dublin Thornproof-tweed suit, Oleg Cassini tie from Goodwill shirt from same source, kitchen window mid-day, I stayed home and worked on Selected Poems 1947-’95 after returning from Walker Arts Center reading – Beat exhibition weekend. Monday, June 3, 1996. N.Y – Allen Ginsberg (photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate)]

The flowering dogwood is flowering again in the churchyard at St Mark’s Church. It flowered early this year. It’s that time of year again, Happy 86th Birthday, Allen!

Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888-1970)

“The word of Ginsberg is atrocious like no other and it becomes always more angry and ardent as he proceeds in laying bare the road, the long road of human suffering, reflected in the body, in the mind, in the feelings of the mother that dies, in the events of life of a victim of the mother that dies. Listen..”
“This album also documents the liason between Ginsberg and the founder of the Italian “hermetic” school of poetry, whose poems are here
Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 76

On The Road buzz continues. Here’s Kerouac scholar, Regina Weinreich (on the, of necessity, differences between the film and the book). And here’s Gerald Nicosia‘s response, and his assessment of Tom Sturridge‘s portrayal of Allen – “He showed the anger and vulnerability in the young Allen, as well as the power of his poetic mind”, he writes – and goes on – “He even reflected many of Allen’s facial mannerisms, which immediately made me remember Allen when I watched him on screen (I knew Allen well for many years). Afterward I asked Sturridge about that and he said … Read More