Transcription of Allen’s “Basic Poetics” class, from 1980 at Naropa, continues. The previous tape (tape 9 of 35) is missing and this tape comes in (towards the end of a class) with an in-class performance]
[Editorial note – The author of this poem is, in fact, unknown, but its first recorded use was as the lyric for one of Dowland’s published lute pieces]
[Student/Musician in class plays with guitar accompaniment his own setting of “Weep You No More…”]
Student/Musician: I’m not sure how fast its supposed to go, this person says to
[plays & sings] – “Weep you no more, sad fountains;/What need you flow so fast?/Look how the snowy mountains/Heaven’s sun doth gently waste./But my sun’s heavenly eyes/View not your weeping,/That now lie sleeping/Softly, now softly lies/Sleeping./ Sleep is a reconciling/A rest that peace begets/Doth not the sun rise smiling/When fair at even he sets?/Rest you then, rest, sad eyes,/Melt not in weeping/While she lies sleeping/Softly, now softly lies/Sleeping.”
point, the timing is..
logical – it’s like a three, yeah.
that the.. there’s some other principal beside…
of doing a slower version of it. We tried one in four-four (time).
account those vowels..
you flow so fast
Student/Musician: Look how the snowy mountains/Heaven’s sun doth gently waste..
things, like, what the three required, a little bit different interpretation.
your…let’s see..where the note, the note, is as long as the vowel?
that going (continues strumming) – Now we have to go to a D-minor here because there is a
definite change, like we’re on the second part and (to) catch that particular move that is necessary…
is, checking out on Basil Bunting – the time it takes to measure a syllable. He
put it down as that simple. Some language, he says, measures the time it takes
to speak a syllable. It’s a real simple straightforward explanation – “the time
it takes to speak a syllable”
there’s an elder poet, Basil Bunting, who was a friend of (Ezra) Pound and
Louis Zukofsky, who was in on these experiments with quantitative (prosody)
back at the turn of the century, and he gave some lectures in Durham Universityin England in the late (19)70s, and I have cassettes of them that I’ve been
listening to, because he’s reading (Thomas) Wyatt and talking about precisely this
problem and I think he’s probably the world’s pragmatical expert on the whole subject. So I want
to make some arrangements so everybody can hear those, because they’re
absolutely amazing, all sorts of interesting stuff, some basic, basic,
historical and ideological matters about the origins of poetry and what poetry
is, that touch on what we’re trying to touch on, but do it in a very
authoritative way, and very sensibly. That’s sort of like déjà vu hearing it.
so..you know, I’ll have it put in the (Naropa) library, or maybe set aside one
class just for listening to some of that.It’s really great (and) the first time
I’ve heard it.
AG: Basil Bunting. I don’t think he’s in this anthology.