NOT LONG AGO JOY ABOUNDED AT CHRISTMAS “I think the celebration of Christmas has changed within the short span of my own lifetime. Only twenty years ago, before World War II [sic] it seemed that Christmas was still being celebrated with a naive and joyous innocence whereas today you hear the expression, “Christmas comes once a year like taxes”. Christmas was observed all out in my Catholic French-Canadian environment in (the) 1930’s, much as it is today in Mexico. At first I was too young to go to midnight mass, but that was the real big event we hoped to grow … Read More
Allen Ginsberg reads “Howl” in 1994 at the Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan, at a benefit for Jewel HeartFrom the program notes:On “Howl, for Carl Solomon”Allen Ginsberg’s writing and first reading of “Howl, for Carl Solomon” in 1955 marked a change in American letters and public life that is still unfolding today. Some felt that both “Howl”‘s words and the act of speaking them aloud were profoundly liberating, while others thought that they were a threat to public order.Ginsberg himself, at the start of writing, felt that the emerging poem could never have a public existence. He later … Read More
AG: Then, another heroic precursor, nineteenth-century, is Herman Melville, as a poet. How many here have run across Melville as a poet? Yeah. Has anybody here read Melville as a prose writer? – Moby Dick? That’s much more common. And how many have seen his poetry again [show of hands] – Yeah – I think he’s one of the four great poets of the nineteenth-century – (Emily) Dickinson, (Herman) Melville, (Edgar Allan) Poe (and) (Walt) Whitman. His work in poetry isn’t as well known, but it’s great. And he’s got a big thick book. Robert Penn … Read More
AG: You all know anapestic rhythm? Is there anybody here that doesn’t know rhythms, I guess. Well, we might as well go to the board. We won’t be using this much in the twentieth-century but, just for those who don’t know, this is standard (or was, at one time, standard) simple measured iamb. [ Allen proceeds to write on the blackboard]. What’s an iambic pentameter line? Does anybody remember one?
Student: “Let me not to the marriage of true souls..” [“Let me not to the marriage of true minds]
AG: Well, it’s kind of mixed. It’s “Let me … Read More