H. Phelps Putnam – Hasbrouk and the Rose

                                                         [H Phelps Putnam (1894-1948)]Allen’s Basic Poetics class (today from July 1st, 1980)  continues. The tape begins approximately one-and-a-half minutes in. There is some brief delay at the beginning.AG:  I’ll be right back, I’m going to get a chair  –  PO: Do you want me to get one?

AG: Sorry I didn’t get here earlier… There were a couple of little things I wanted to clean up that I mentioned before. We were talking about “All Read More

Allen Ginsberg and David Henderson at Naropa 1981 (part two)

                                                [David Henderson – Photo by Michah Saperstein]

                                                                         [Allen Ginsberg]  

Allen’s 1981 Naropa Institute reading with poet David Henderson continues, (following the earlier disruption), with two poems – “Grim Skeleton”  and “Meditations at Lake Louise” (“Reflections At Lake Louise”) (both from Plutonian Ode
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Ashraf Fayadh Appeal – Urgent

                                                              [Ashraf Fayadh]

From a letter presented this morning (Friday November 27)  to His Excellency Shaykh Dr Mohammed bin Abdulkareem Al-Issa at the Ministry of Justice in Saudi Arabia from a broad coalition of human-rights groups“We, the undersigned organizations, all dedicated to the value of creative freedom, are writing to express our grave concern that Ashraf Fayadh has been sentenced to death for apostasy. Ashraf Fayadh, a poet, artist, curator, and … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 246

 [Guillaume Apollinaire by Picasso]

Guillaume Apollinaire – Zone – Selected Poems – “The fruit of poet-translator Ron Padgett‘s fifty-year engagement with the work of France’s greatest modern poet” –  (a bilingual edition) – has just been published by the New York Review Books. Don’t miss it.  For Allen Ginsberg on Apollinaire –  see (for example) his 1975 Naropa class here (which includes, among other things, a complete reading and commentary on the title poem, “Zone”)  and here, here – (and, again, here)

 [Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918)]

“Guillaume, Guillaume how I envy your fame, your accomplishment for American letters/ your Zone with its long crazy line of … Read More

“Jolly Good Ale and Old”

AG: So…  “Jolly Good Ale and Old”. Does anybody know that one? Did anybody ever sing that, Jolly Good Ale and Old?  Student:  Yes. Many times.
AG: Where? Is there a song (to it)? Is there a tune? Anybody ever hear a tune to it?
Student: Yeah we sang an old tune. .
AG: You sang it? . Can you sing it?
Student: No
AG: Oh come on, I never heard it sung?
Student: ..”Jolly Good Ale..”..see, where is it?
AG: Page sixty-nine
Student:  Where’s the refrain, I can’t remember it?
AG: The refrain’s at the end (of the … Read More

“The Maidens Came”

And for today just one more…. [Allen continues with his survey for his class at the Naropa Institute, in July 1980, on early English poetry]AG: Now William Dunbar (next), page seventy-two….  (but),  let’s see, is there anything I should.. .Yeah, there’s one little thing (possibly) – Yeah, there’s a funny little thing before we get to Dunbar, there’s a funny little poem that isn’t in the Norton (anthology) (and) that is in the Auden anthologycalled The Maidens Came“. It has a line that (T.S.) Eliot repeats somewhere in The Waste Land, or paraphrases, and somehow … Read More

Lyke Wake Dirge – 2 (Metrics)

AG: Okay, let us say that (for an assignment for the class) either you do a version of “I Sing of A Maiden that’s makeles” or lie-awake dirge (Lyke Wake Dirge) – one or the other, rhythmically. They’re both interesting. 
Let’s see  [Allen, under his breath, sounds it out} Well, basically, if you want the Lyke Wake Dirge rhythmically (it) seems to boil down to four-three, four-three.  Four accents, three accents (four accents, three accents –‘This/one/night” “This/one.. one…one and two.. three and four. One-and-two, three-and-four, one and two and three – “Every night and all” – one and two, … Read More

Lyke Wake Dirge – 1

AG: And then the next one, the Lie-Awake Dirge  the Lyke Wake Dirge – the Lie-Awake Dirge  – “the night watch kept over a corpse”. So this is really the… this is really a great powerful (one). Does anybody know this (from) before – Lyke Wake Dirge – “This ae night..” Has anybody read this before?  [to Student] – I’m very curious. Where did you come across it?. In the Auden? [Auden-Pearson anthology] – Where did you get it? –… Yeah – It’s really a great anthology that…You’ve got all five? –  I don’t know if you’ve seen this. We have maybe … Read More

“Western Wind” and “A Thousand Miles Away From Home”

Allen Ginsberg continues his discussion of early English lyricsAG: “Westron Wynde” – Does anybody know that? – “Westron wynde, when wilt thou blow?” – Huh? – Before we get there – wait a minute- yeah, “Westron Wynde” (page sixty-nine). How many people… how many have heard of that before? – Raise your hand if you have [a scattering in the class raise their hands] – You mean there are (only) five people in this class that have ever heard of that? . Okay. This is maybe the greatest poem in the English language. Really! – Like, the archetype poem … Read More