[Allen Ginsberg on Spontaneous Poetics at Naropa Institute continues – from June 30 1976]
AG: [recalling the previous class] We had gone through syllables, accents, vowel-lengths, some breath-stop, units of phrasing. How much of that did we get?
Student: You gave some examples and out of Williams, you got so far as the details…
AG: Okay. Units of phrasing, consisting in units of vocalized phrasing, Not mental phrasing, but vocalized phrasing, and so I’m making that distinction. The aesthetic would be – clinical study of spoken American-ese. And a close attention to the … Read More
(Continuing with Allen Ginsberg’s class on “Spontaneous Poetics” at Naropa Institute, from June 28 1976)
AG: Breath-stop is the next measuring concept. In (William Carlos) Williams case, and in Robert Creeley‘s case, and in my case, and in Charles Olson’s case, and in the practice of many modern poets, one way they divide the line when they’re doing free verse is.. (because these are all the elements, still, in open-form verse, (that) I’m talking about, saying there’s a … Read More
The recent publication of Simon Warner‘s quaintly-titled, monumental (500+ pages) tome, Text and Drugs and Rock ‘N’ Roll, had us thinking again about lineage and connections and those issues – “Was rock culture the natural heir to the activities of the Beats? Were the hippies the Beats of the 1960s? What attitude did the Beat writers have towards musical forms and particularly rock music? How did literary works shape the consciousness of leading rock music-makers and their followers? Why did Beat literature retain its cultural potency with later rock musicians who rejected hippie values? How did rock musicians … Read More
AG: I’ve been thinking of what are the different considerations of mindful open-verse forms. And I made a very brief list (composed of elements we’ve already discussed) just as academic reference-points. If one were to analyze (William Carlos) Williams‘ versification, what are the different inclinations he has in mind when he’s putting the words down on the page, or re-arranging them on the page?
First, we had consciousness of syllables and syllable count, as he practiced, and his friend Marianne Moore practiced. That is to say, arranging phrasings on the page with four syllables, … Read More
AG: There’s lots of short poems (of Williams) that might be looked at. What does he do (for example) when he gets into a violent scene, where all perceptions are jarred? [Allen proceeds to read William Carlos Williams’ poem, “The Last Turn” – “Then see it! in distressing / detail – from behind a red light/at 53rd and 8th/ of a November evening, the jazz/ of the cross lights echoing the/crazy weave of the breaking mind:/ splash of half purple, half/ naked woman’s body whose jeweled/ guts the cars drag up
What an incredible resource The Allen Ginsberg Project is! – On this momentous occasion, we’d ask you all a favor – Can you use our Comments section more? ! (we want to elicit and host some healthy debate – we don’t want to be “telling you things” all the time). Also, please, please, given the monumental numbers of links on this site (hyper-text and all that) and the vagaries (out of our control) of the Internet, can you please write us (back-channel, we guess) of any links that have gone down and … Read More
Ginsberg on Williams (from June 1976 at Naropa) continues:
AG: So it’s a question of the whole problem of the structure of the universe then, (that it) depends on our own perception of it, naturally And here we’ve got a man (Williams) working on his perceptions directly, and using the language as a way to recognize and refine his perceptions and to define his perception or first thought as the material for his work – very manly work, in a sense (though it’s just purely aesthetic). He’s got a poem (called), “The Men” – big … Read More