AG: So I wanted to continue with (Walt) Whitman‘s children (one of them is in Russia, someone whom we’ll pick up on later on (Velimir) Khlebnikov, the Futurist writer. But before we get to Khlenbnikov, there’s one other poem of Whitman’s which I would like to add to our anthology). In one shortened form, there’s about a five-line version of it in the regular Whitman books. Let’s see if we can find that. I have it around here somewhere. Wait a … Read More
A big big announcement today. It’s been a long-time in the making. Today sees the launch of our totally refurbished web-site – Allen Ginsberg dot org. Initially launched in 2002, that site, we’ll be the first to admit, was getting a little long-in-the-tooth. Twelve years is a long time (and an eternity if you’re talking about the internet!), so, for the past couple of years, assisted by dedicated web professionals and a wise cadre of devoted Ginsberg scholars, we’ve been revamping. Special thanks to Ghan Patel for the design & back end work, and hats off to Wyeth Stiles for … Read More
We’ve been wanting to post this one for a while – and today’s the perfect day. From Jerry Aronson‘s absolutely-definitive DVD , The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg (and posted here with his generosity and permission), Allen’s extraordinarily-moving 1992 recitation of his poem,”Song” – “The weight of the world is love” – It is indeed. Happy Valentine’s Day!
[Federico Garcia Lorca and Salvador Dali c.1925]Expansive Poetics – June 30 1981, a new class. Allen takes up, once again, briefly, after he left of, with further remarks on Federico Garcia Lorca and the wider context of European modernism – and a read-through/analysis of Lorca’s poem, “Oda a Salvador Dali” AG: .. my own method was, as I conceived it, taking the naturalistic long-line of (Walt) Whitman, or the naturalistic humanistic open form, and combining (it) with the mind-jumps of twentieth-century post-Einstein-ian Surrealism. Because (Albert) Einstein‘s Theory of Relativity was actually conceived around 1907-1917, about the … Read More
Allen continues his June 25 1981 disquisition on the performance and the reading out loud of poetry.
AG: One problem is that some people have an idea of poetry which is mono-tonal. Like Richard (Poe),who (originally) asked the question, reads poetry in a monotonal (way), one tone – and a lot of people do, Somehow when you fall into reading poetry you just get into some kind of half-chant, half-croon, half poetical-sounding trance voice (which is not exactly a trance voice but just a conventional voice for poetry) and you get stuck there. One reason people do that is … Read More
Greek prosody has a system for each vowel of up, down, or middle. Rising tones, falling tones, and marked by a circumflex (the little mark, the little upside-down “v” mark) up and down. And I think the first book of Homer’s The Iliad has one word – “Peleus” – which is both up and down. “Sing , oh muse, of the wrath of Achilles, Peleus’ son” – son of Peleus – so that would be marked in Greek line (with an) up and down accent.
That was formal in Greek. There’s no such consideration formally in American or English. … Read More
In the middle of his 1981 Expansive Poetics course (at the beginning of the June 25th class), Allen breaks off into a discourse about vocalization and the various skills required in reading the poem out loud. He goes into some detail. A transcription of his commentary follows here
AG: Well last night at a party I was talking with Richard Poe, who is an apprentice, and I couldn’t figure it out exactly what he wanted to apprentice to me about, what our relationship was, poetically. And, drunk, last night he said, “I figured it out finally. What I wanted, and … Read More
We’ve done this a couple of times before, but thought, in honor of the Centennial, to do it once again, a little portfolio of William by Allen and William and Allen.
[William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg in Lawrence, Kansas – Photograph c. Pat Elliott ]
[Allen and William, Lawrence, KS, May 30, 1991. photo probably snapped by James Grauerholz with Allen’s camera]
[William with Rusky (the Russian Blue), and Allen, Lawrence, KS, March 18, 1992. photo likely snapped by James Grauerholz with Allen’s camera.]
[William rowing across Lone Star Lake near Lawrence, KS, May 30, 1991. photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]