Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 252

Elsa Dorfman

(“Ellie”), Allen’s dear friend, ” friend of the poets, doyenne of the oversized “fixture in Cambridge (Massachusetts) for decades, celebrated here on The Allen Ginsberg Project a few years back (on the occasion of her 75th birthday, in a must-read piece), recently announced her retirement.

As reported in the New York Times, she “is trying to adopt something like a pose of total acceptance (she doesn’t know the Japanese word for it or whether she’ll achieve it) towards retirement… The main reason is that the film and chemicals she depends upon … Read More

Allen Ginsberg in 1987 on The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s

John Sheppard‘s 1987 documentary “It Was 20 Years Ago Today”, an examination of the classic Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, (and of 1967, the year of its debut), features, at one point,  Allen surveying the album and giving a brief track-by-track assessment.  

AG: It [Sgt Pepper’s..] opens with a real interesting nostalgic recall of old vaudeville and good old times..it goes on “with a little help from my friends”, a statement of communal purpose – the next is, like a statement of imagination , Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds, as being elements … Read More

W.H.Auden – Age of Anxiety – 2

Continuing with selected readings from W.H.Auden’s The Age of Anxiety

AG: So then they all go home except for the lovers, who wind up in bed. The lady.. takes them… (Rosetta went with them to the elevator. And they wait for it and they go down the elevator and then Rosetta and the girl go back to her apartment to.. finally she’s going to make it with the soldier. They sank from her sight an hour later

“When she got back to her apartment, she found that Embel had gone into her bedroom and passed out . She looked down … Read More

Martin Luther King

  [Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968]

Allen Ginsberg on Martin Luther King: “I met him a couple times. Once with LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) and Peter (Orlovsky) at a fundraiser when they first began SNCC, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, in Dorothy Norman’s house in, maybe, 1963. We’d just got back from India. And then we went off with her and him to a Chinese restaurant to eat and Peter asked him if he had any dreams. He said, ‘Yeah, I had a dream that I was dead and that my enemies hid my funeral so … Read More

W.H.Auden – Age of Anxiety – 1

[Allen Ginsberg on W.H.Auden’s Age of Anxiety Continues]

AG: Then, there is a very magnificent long speech, I think, by Rosetta – oh no, a real funny one – oh yeah, another form he did was alliterative (which was to make a little sort of Broadway love song where the lovers are vowing to each other). “If you..”, well, there are

“Which vows they now alternately swore” [swore – using this kind of alliterative verse] – “If you blush. I’ll build breakwaters./ When you’re tired, I’ll tidy your table./If you cry, I’ll climb crags./When you’re sick, I’ll sit at your … Read More

“A Little Side-Trip in Auden”

AG: So what comes on then with (W.H.) Auden(Auden’s a pretty sophisticated man) is a profuse version [of alliterative verse]. It’s not an early muscular version of alliterativewriting but, every once in a while, as we had inthat piece I read last timewhere he’s just giving the news broadcast, that’s more like the older Anglo-Saxon – “Now the news. Night raids on/Five cities. Fires started..”Do you remember that? – So I’m going to go on with a few more speeches by the characters in “TheAge of Anxiety“. Quant is talking about the seven … Read More

1986 Faculty Poetry Collaborative Reading – 2 (Ed Sanders and Steven Taylor)

[Ed Sanders]

continuing from yesterday – The 1986 Faculty Poetry Collaborative Reading

Anne Waldman : Ed Sanders – graduated from NYU with degrees in Greek and Latin. He’s a poet-novelist-musician-inventor of strange electronic instruments. He plays the quilt frame . He was the founding member of The Fugs,a political rock group most of you know from the Sixties, which has been reactivated (very active now), traveling around. He’s written an opera with Steven Taylor entitled Star Peace, which premiered in May in Syracuse and is going to be performed in Oslo in the next weeks. He was a … Read More

1986 Faculty Poetry Collaborative Reading – 1 Ginsberg-Taylor-Clausen-Waldman

[Allen Ginsberg]

[Steven Taylor]

[Andy Clausen]

[Anne Waldman]

This rare Naropa Institute audio-recording, (dated July 12, 1986), introduced by Anne Waldman and featuring Allen withSteven Taylor, (here dubbed “bodhisattva of music”), alongside the respectfully-noted “Naropa All-Star String Quartet”, (and followed by a reading/performance by Andy Clausen), comprises the first half of a memorable night, which, among other things, saw the premiere of Steven’s setting of Allen’s poem, “White Shroud”(and an invigorating-as-ever reading/performance by Ed Sanders, which will be featured in this space tomorrow) [Anne begins by introducing three participants (her introduction to Ed Sanders will … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 251

[Allen takes the back-seat – Two photographs – Ryan Weideman (Self-Portrait with Passenger,1990)

and Brian Graham (Allen Ginsberg and Brian Graham, Cape Breton, 1992)]

[Steve Silberman, Allen Ginsberg, and Marc Olmsted in San Jose, California, 1986 – Photograph by Marc Geller]

Our good friend Steve Silberman gets to sing Allen’s praises once again – “I once told Philip Whalen that my initial experience of working with Allen was disillusioning because he was a crabby, horny, egomaniacal, middle-aged rock star instead of the sweet, broken-hearted nerd in his poems, and Philip replied, “What’s so great about illusions anyway?” Ten years … Read More

McClure’s Chaucer

The occasion (unlikely occasion) – The Band‘s Thanksgiving, 1977, “Farewell Concert” at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom (subsequently immortalized in Martin Scorsese‘s 1978 film, The Last Waltz. The reader (similarly, perhaps?, unlikely) – Michael McClure reading the opening lines (from the Prologue) of Chaucer‘s classic “The Canterbury Tales“.

We continue with Old English and Middle English this week on the Allen Ginsberg Project

WHAN that Aprille with his shoures soote

The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote,

And bathed every veyne in swich licour,

Of which vertu engendred is the flour;

Whan Zephirus … Read More