Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 141

[Johnny Depp at Allen Ginsberg’s kitchen table, New York City, 1994. c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

[Harry Smith with Flowers and Cigarette in the kitchen 437 East 12th Street NYC,  August 3, 1986. c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

[Joanne Kyger, Allen’s kitchen, 437 East 12th St.NYC, November 1989 c.Allen Ginsberg Estate]

[Gary Snyder, 437 East 12th St kitchen table, March 1991. photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

[Peter Orlovsky 437 East 12th St, New York City, 1996. Photo Allen Ginsberg. c Allen Ginsberg Estate]

Allen’s table. We’ve been contacted about Allen’s kitchen-table, historical hearth and meeting point, also setting for innumerable photos. … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 126 (William Blake)

[William Blake (1757 – 1827) – Jerusalem, Plate 27, “To The Jews…” via Yale Center For British Art, Paul Mellon Collection]

AG: I’d like to finish this quasi-political section with a song by (William) Blake from“Jerusalem”. I’ll sing it, because it has a certain natural music in it.

Student: What part is it?

AG: Perhaps repetitious. It’s Plate 27 of “Jerusalem”, his last work (or his last known work – apparently, some of his work was burned after his death) – [Allen begins reading/singing – “The fields from Islington to Marybone,/To Primrose Hill and Saint John’s … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 125 (Blake – The Mental Traveller)

AG: There is another odder way of looking at it that I always dug, in Blake, in “The Mental Traveller”. Does anybody know that poem? – “The Mental Traveller”? – It’s one of the strangest poems ever written, which (W.B) Yeats, who was a great commentator on Blake, still found indecipherable. It’s somewhat a cycle that comes back to itself – like a long story-poem, like a dream, like our own existence, or like Finnegan’s Wake, a construction that begins somewhere in the … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 124 (William Blake and the French Revolution)

[William Blake (1757-1827)]

We’ll leave (William) Wordsworth for a moment. There was another mind dealing with revolution – (William) Blake, also disillusioned – and there are a couple of brief comments that he made, summaries, of his political changes – that are not too well-known  (The longer, “prophetic books” are difficult to get into, and I haven’t mastered them, so I won’t deal with those, but some brief comments on the French Revolution by Blake. Since we had Wordsworth’s disillusion, this is Blake’s) – A generalization – [Allen recites William Blake’s “The Grey Monk”, in its entirety] … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 123 (Wordsworth – 8)

[William Wordsworth (1770-1850)]

Why don’t I just go through a few little fragments of not-very-well-known poems by Wordsworth, from “Poems of the Imagination”. (I’ll) just pick out a few lines here and there which give a little haiku-like, or direct, perception, examples of direct perceptual.. examples of the activity of his mind. Like (since) we’re talking about the inertness of his mind, we have to balance it.

He has, (for example), a little poem called “There Was A Boy” – [Allen reads “There Was A Boy” in its entirety] – “There was a Boy, ye knew him … Read More

Ginsberg on Kerouac and Kesey and Cassady

1973 Salem State College’s Jack Kerouac Festival – here and here. (We’ve even previously featured an “out-take” here),. Here’s another one, (similarly focusing on the poignancy and tragedy of late Jack Kerouac (and on late Neal Cassady). An audience member asks about Cassady and his legendary cross-country drive, Allen responds.

[This particular tape begins in media res with Peter Orlovsky, having just finished his presentation, and a (more-than-usually) offensive/provocative/drunken Gregory Corso, meditating/theorizing.. on sudden death! – but then, thirty-five seconds in, is the question, and fifty-five seconds in, Allen’s answer]

AG: I can only talk, I would rather only talk, … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 140

[Time Magazine cover (Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon) November 12, 1956]

Side-swipes. Time magazine. The voice of “the establishment”. Allen memorably excoriated its pomposity and hauteur in 1956 in his poem, “America” –  “Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time Magazine?/ I’m obsessed by Time Magazine/I read it every week/Its cover stares at me as I slink past the corner candy-store/I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library/It’s always telling me about responsibility..” Plus ça change, over fifty years later, the snarky caption to a photo juxtaposing Allen andDaniel

Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 140

[Time Magazine cover (Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon) November 12, 1956]
Side-swipes. Time magazine. The voice of “the establishment”. Allen memorably excoriated its pomposity and hauteur in 1956 in his poem, “America” –  “Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time Magazine?/ I’m obsessed by Time Magazine/I read it every week/Its cover stares at me as I slink past the corner candy-store/I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library/It’s always telling me about responsibility..” Plus ça change, over fifty years later, the snarky caption to a photo juxtaposing Allen andDaniel Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 122 (Wordsworth – 7)

[Benjamin Robert Haydon – plaster cast of life mask, 1815, of William Wordsworth (via the National Portrait Gallery, London)]

There’s the famous nostalgic “Ode on Intimations Of  Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood”, which I read to my father, several months ago, on his death-bed – and his comment – it was a poem that he’d always loved and wanted me to read aloud to him – it was the last time he heard it (a poem which he’d heard maybe a thousand times in his life, aloud, or read) – but his final comment was, “It’s very beautiful, but … Read More