Mind, Mouth and Page – 41 (Birds and Flowers)

AG: I want to finish (these recent discussions on Charles Reznikoff) right now with a little last poem of (William Carlos) Williams, sort of summing it up, summing up the effort that both of them were making- “Birds and Flowers”. So, suggesting a still life, or suggesting the subjects he might write of, (or) that he might notice.
It is summer, winter, any
time –
no time at all – but delight
the spring up
of those secret flowers
the others imitate and so
become round
extraordinary in petalage
yellow, blue
fluted and globed
moonshaped –… Read More

Mind, Mouth and Page – 40 (Reznikoff 4)

[Charles Reznikoff (1894-1976), in 1975, photograph by Abraham Ravett]

AG: I want to run through more of (Charles) Reznikoff. Are you interested in more of his flashes?

AG: Because I think they’re so beautiful. The more you get, the better. Because it’ll give you a grounding in it. [to student] – Yeah?
Student: When were these poems published? When did his last book come out?
AG: 1975 – Holocaust. And he gave a reading last year at (the) St Mark’s Church (in New York) – he’s one of the regulars.. that Larry (Fagin) invites … Read More

Mosaddegh – The 1953 Iranian Coup




[Mohammed Mosaddegh, deposed Iranian Prime Minister breaks down in court, Tehran, December 1953]


It’s the anniversary today of the 1953 coup in Iran, when the democratically-elected government of Mohammed Mosaddegh was overthrown by a coup d’etat organized by the intelligence agencies of the United Kingdom and the United States (an extraordinary important historical occasion with ramifications that are still being felt, right up to the present day).

Allen was, of course, supremely aware of all this. Arash Norouzi of The Mossadegh Project has put together a page, a digest of some of his observations
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Remembering Fernanda Pivano

Fernanda Pivano (1917-2009)

Fernanda Pivano, the doyenne of Italian Beat translators (seen here in 1966, famously interviewing Jack Kerouac) passed away three years ago today.
(She can be seen looking back on that particular legendary interview here)
An Italian tv documentary made on the occasion of her 2004 Palazzo Bomben, Treviso show, Voci-Voices, may be viewed in its entirety here.
A more recent (2010) RAI (Italian tv) profile of her, Teresa Marchesi’s Pivano Blues was developed into a successful 2011 film, see here.
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Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 87

[Wade Williams]
James Franco, Daniel Radcliffe… Wade Williams – here comes another Ginsberg-on-screen (admittedly, in this case, in a more minor part). Pinchas Perry‘s full-length feature, The Chicago 8, (“based on actual court transcripts of 8 anti-war protestors, on trial for conspiring to cause riots in the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago”), opens next month (not un-coincidentally) on the opening day of the 2012 Democratic Convention (September 4). Thomas Ian Nicholas is Abbie Hoffman, Philip Baker Hall is Judge Julius Hoffman , Orlando Jones plays Bobby Seale. Williams, the actor playing Allen, is an alumnae of … Read More

Mind, Mouth and Page – 39 (Reznikoff 3)

AG: His (Charles Reznikoff’s) poetry is immortal – The subway (his subject) will last for fifty years, if lucky. But then, there’s that other thing, what’s going to happen when the subways vanish into dust?
Student: They (the poems) will end up like the graffiti in the subways.
(Second) Student: Horseshit!
AG: Come on!
Student: Poems’ll last?
AG: See, what is going to happen to these poems?. I mean, consider all these poem-objects (that) we’re making? What is going to happen to these poems when the subways turn to dust? What we’ll have left are these little artifact-like … Read More

Mind, Mouth and Page – 38 (Reznikoff 2)

[Charles Reznikoff 1894-1976 – photo by Gerard Malanga]
AG: But (Charles Reznikoff)..back to his own eye – direct, a little walk (which everybody here has taken and very few written down – particularly the end of it, the last observation)..
[the class is, suddenly, temporarily, halted, when one of the students, begins shaking, prelude to an epileptic fit]
AG:- Oh, Thomas. Can we do anything for Tom?..I think it may be a little stuffy in here.
Student: Perhaps you could put your hand on his shoulder?
AG: It may be stuffy in here. Can you help him … Read More

Mind, Mouth and Page – 37 (Reznikoff 1)

[Charles Reznikoff 1894-1976]
Well, (at the) same time, same mental station, same movement as the Imagist people, basing their practice on direct observation of the image (were) the Objectivists. (Imagism) grew into the Objectivist movement, where people also included their thoughts or feelings as part of the hard data of the moment. (Yet) another group was called (the) Activists and that was because they were trying to use language that was active, rather than passive. They were trying to use language that was precise and clear and clean. So they called themselves “Activists”. So, Imagists, Objectivists, Activists – various metamorphoses … Read More

Mind, Mouth and Page – 36 (Plums)

AG: The poem I like best to illustrate his (William Carlos Williams’) point, his method, is something that he told me, I think, was simply, literally a note left for his wife (Floss), which, when he reread it in the morning, he picked up (on) and put in the book as another poem. “This is Just to Say” is the title. [Allen reads “This is Just to Say” in its entirety] – “This is just to say” [title] I have eaten/ the plums/ that were in/ the icebox/ and which/ you were probably/ saving/ for breakfast/ Forgive me. … Read More

Remembering William Blake

[William Blake (1757-1837) – portrait, 1820, by John Linnell (1792-1882)]
Today (Sunday August 12th) is the 185th anniversary of the death of the great poet and visionary, William Blake We, here on The Allen Ginsberg Project, of course, couldn’t let that go by, without at least some acknowledgement/recognition. Here’s Allen in Olomouc (the Czech Republic), in 1993, singing the wonderful crowd-pleaser (from the “Songs of Innocence and Experience), his setting of “The Nurses Song” – “And all the hills echo-ed.. And all the hills echo-ed..”

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