Allen Ginsberg on John Donne continues from yesterday.
Student: Is he (John Donne) known as a mystic poet like (William) Blake?
AG: No, more of an intellectual. Some mystic towards the end but more..more, I guess..religious… divine, divine..
Student: In the footnote number eight (sic),, they use..(they say) that with “The Ecstasy“, the title. it refers to the standing out, and then the….specifically..
AG: Standing out of the body.
Student: ..mysticism. I got the impression in the first part, with all that “see/saw” and in earlier lines there, that he’s actually referring to a.. (to) common hallucinations, you know, like you get into the pudding, you know, between lovers, you know, In this case, just between lovers but, specifically, referring to a common hallucination. On such a level…
AG: Well, I don’t know, not a hallucination but a common experience of lovers, of a sense of union when they’ve accepted each other and are very delicately and slowly…
Student: I mean also to include that level.
AG: What level?
Student: Of common hallucination
AGL I don’t think he means that. Just because you’ve got that “common hallucination” doesn’t mean that he’s got it!
Student: But it’s a natural thing between lovers. It’s a natural thing,, don’t you think??
AG: What?, common hallucinations?
AG: Well.. I haven’t had that experience.
Student (2): What (precisely) do you mean?
AG: Yeah, what do you mean (by that)?
Student: By :”common hallucinations”? I mean (over there?) – sic) – Yeah, exactly, that it is only light or water, (or light reflecting on water)
Student (2): We both see the same thing, in common
AG: Common, yes.
Student: Both see the same hallucination, though – Well anything, movies, pictures, you know – cowboys and Indians, you know, anything – trees, all that countryside, angels…..
AG: You mean these two lovers are looking into each others’ eyes, and seeing Frankenstein!.. or..
Student: No, two lovers looking into the air and seeing….
AG: But they’re looking in each others’ eyes! – They’re looking directly into each other eyes, I think.
Student (2): They’re seeing into each others’ soul. – You think they’re seeing some bodies floating in space or something?
Student: Oh sure, anything, all kinds of lights, colors…
Student (2): I don’t think that’s it.
AG: I don’t think he’s talking about….
Student (2): I think it’s more of a intellectual metaphysical sense he’s talking about, not…
Student: I think he means that..practically, I mean…really.. or whatever…
Student (2): But what is he seeing out there?
AG: No, (but) there is something in the text that might.. that says.. well, – ” and pictures in our eyes to get” (or beget) was all our propagation”..
Student (2): (No, but that’s) in the mind’s eye, I think…
AG: Yeah, but pictures in our mind’s eye…
Student: Between your mind and your mind’s eye, when they’re doing it as one, what’s the difference?..
Student (2): Well, if they were laying there, seeing bodies floatig up in space, you think they’d be sitting there pointing at them?
Student; Oh sure, yeah, exactly, like the mind’s eye – exactly, like that
Student (2): I think this is different than that, different than you imagine
Student: What’s the difference?
Student (3): This is daydreaming…
Student: Oh, like, you mean (the difference) between daydreaming and not really seeing?..
Student (3): It doesn’t even say that they’re having the same daydream…
Student (2): I doubt that they’re having daydreams.
[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately seventy-five-and-a-half minutes in and concluding at approximately seventy-eight minutes in]