Jay Blakesberg’s wonderful photograph of a pensive Allen. It was Robert Frank‘s advice to Allen, the photographer (advice that he always took to heart and would tell other people) – always, in portraits, if at all possible, include the hands. [Allen Ginsberg and Robert Frank, 1986, New York City – Photograph by Peter Hale]
AG: So there was the first Imagist school which said, “Sight is where the eye strikes”, “Direct treatment of the object” (that’s from (Ezra) Pound‘s little easy, “How To Read” – “Direct treatment of the object, with as few fuzzy words as possible. As we concentrate on the breath, or as we’re one with the breath, so one is absorbed in clearly seeing a situation, a person, a look, a broken flower in a vase – or “so much depends/ upon/ a red wheel/ barrow/ glazed with rain/ water /beside the white/chickens” – you know that? (William … Read More
Imagism. So. In pursuit of similar focus and concentration and presence and prescience and perception and awareness that we’ve been discussing the last three months here, there was a similar breakthrough of awareness around the turn of the century, connected with the minds of the Dadaists and the Futurists… Read More
Student: What was that again?AG: The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry – by Ezra Pound (or, edited from the papers of the late Professor Ernest Fenollosa by Ezra Pound)Student: (And also) “Visions of Ordinary Mind”AG: Huh?Student: “Visions of Ordinary Mind”AG: Oh yeah. Another reference – somewhat similar, but parallel – long-winded, a typescript of a lecture I gave here [Naropa] two years ago  called “Visions of Ordinary Mind” (which you can get in the library – I think it must be in the library here, or down.. [to Student] – Do you know where it is? … Read More
Allen Ginsberg’s 1978 lectures on Meditation and Poetics at Naropa resume with this July 24th, 1978 classAG: I wanted to start off on (Charles) Reznikoff today. How many here have read Charles Reznikoff? Just since this term or before? How many have read it before? [to Student] Where’d you get to read Reznikoff ? (I forgot your name).Student: Where?AG: YeahStudent: In libraries.AG: Where?
Student: And bookstores. New York.AG: How come?Student: Because I try to read all I can.AG: What led you on to him?Student: Interest. And I try to read all the poets. Reznikoff is one (of the poets … Read More
One of Allen’s most accomplished early poems is our spotlight today – “To Aunt Rose” – “A memory flash 1958 Paris. My favorite Aunt Rose (1900-1940) took care of me weekends when my mother was ill – Books named are my late father Louis Ginsberg‘s. It was a big event to publish a volume of poetry in those days! – Rose Gaidemak died of septicemia..”This audio is taken from a reading at San Francisco State University’s Poetry Center on April 27, 1959. It was written in 1958 and published in 1961, included as part of the collection, Kaddish … Read More
AG: “(H)igh school French spoken in a loud voice?/Parsley in a glass,/still and shining,/brings me back.”
– He’s spaced out, spaced in, spaced out, come back. “I take a drink/and yawn deliciously/I am ready for bed”
– “Yawn(ed) deliciously” – He appreciated it all.
Well, I would categorize that, classify that in Buddhist terms, (as) the extension of samatha – concentration, calming, tranquilization of mind, emptying of mind, then the extension of awareness, at that point, out into noticing, or insight into detail. And the noticing of the luminosity and precision of forms, sounds, and smells existent Traditionally, that’s supposed