Catching Up – Ben Jonson, John Donne)

[Ben Jonson (1572-1637) & John Donne ( 1572-1631)

1980 -Allen was absent and unable to teach one week, so poet Dick Gallup took over his Naropa “Basic Poetics’ class. Allen, on his return, was eager to find out what happened.

AG: What happened with Dick (Gallup)? How was the class?

Student: It was funny

AG: What did you take up?

Student: Everything.. (John Donne),  (Ben) Jonson….

AG: Did he do the Ben Jonson poem on Shakespeare?

Student: No, no, he gave us some background about their lives.

AG: Good, because I don’t know anything about that.

Student He gave … Read More

Composed on The Tongue

AG: (It’s a collection of) ..spontaneous writings, at different times. And some of the stuff is (from quite (recent), here,) at Naropa (The last piece from (19)74-(19)75, and some interviews done here around (19)75. And then a long conversation with Michael Aldrich, Edward Kissam & Nancy Blecker, (in Cherry Valley) ,”Improvised Poetics” { editorial note – subsequently reprinted in Spontaneous Mind] …..done in 1968.  And then, 1967, about twenty-five pages– twenty pages – of conversations, laconic conversations, with Ezra Pound about the Cantos and about what he thought about life – All this has been published in Loka or … Read More

1967- Ginsberg-Corso-Berryman at Spoleto

The recordings of Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso (and of an unlikely third-party, John Berryman, at the 1967 Festival of Two Worlds (“Festival dei Due Mondi”) at Spoleto in Italy, organized by Gian Carlo Menotti is the focus of this weekend’s post

[Allen Ginsberg, Spoleto, 1967]

Allen’s reading (which was also subsequently featured in the recording Ginsberg’s Thing (1969)), was the subject at the time of some controversy.   As his biographer Bill Morgan explains:

“The police in Spoleto seemed to be waiting for him and they picked up copies of the Italian translation of his poem “Who Be Kind Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 320

[Allen Ginsberg in the recording studio, 1989]

June 23, next Friday. We’re getting closer to the official release-date, but we’re already putting the word out  about this exciting Ginsberg re-release from Omnivore Recordings of Allen’s settings of William Blake.

Here’s more info (courtesy Aquarium Drunkard)

and here’s the official video just put out of Allen/Blake’s “The Garden of Love”

Speaking of William Blake, hats off to antiquarian bookseller, John Windle (“Windle’s connection to Blake is more spiritual than commercial”). Allen would, more than once, call Windle, Windle remembers, if he “needed a Blake fix”.

[William Blake ( 1757-1827] … Read More

Thomas Carew – (“Ask Me No More”)

[Thomas Carew (1595-1640)]

AG: And (Thomas) Carew has one of the prettiest cadences of repeated.. it’s like a.. it’s a very beautiful cadence, for the first line of page three-oh-one – A song – It’s (the cadence) –  da da-da da  da  da-da da – da  da-da da  da  da-da da – Da da-da da da – da-da da. It’s just really nice, that. “Ask me no more where Jove bestows,/When June is past, the fading rose;/For in your beauty’s orient deep/These flowers, as in their causes, sleep/ .Ask me no more whither do stray/The golden atoms of the day;/For … Read More

More James Shirley

Allen Ginsberg continues his 1980 Naropa lectures on classic English poetry

AG: – Thomas Carew –  this is really pretty.. (a poem) by Carew..  lets see..

Oh no, before we get to Carew, there is another little poem by James Shirley (because that one is so good that I thought there must be other things that he’d written that are interesting). There’s another one called “The Might of Death”, another little lyric on death, which takes off from that – “then boast no more your mighty deeds” – But  “The Might of Death” – from Cupid and Death – … Read More

Marianne Moore (on Eternality)

[Marianne Moore ( 1887-1972)]

AG: Then there’s a poem by Marianne Moore about (James Shirley’s poem) “Only the actions of the just/ Smell sweet, and blossom in the dust”) – Do you know that? Has anybody heard that? It’s from Marianne Moore.  [ [“Beauty is everlasting/and dust is for a time”] –  I think she paraphrased it [paraphrased Shirley]…Where is Marianne Moore in here? …(Page) ten-sixteen? … Yeah, it’s at the very end of the poem, I think  (if it’s got it in here)… [Allen keeps searching for the poem in his anthology] –  No, I … Read More

James Shirley – 2 (“The Triumph of Death”)

[“The Triumph of Death” – by Pieter Bruegel, the Elder ( 1525-1569) – oil on panel, 117 cms x 162 cms (1562-3) – collection of Museo del Prado]

AG: [reading James Shirley’s “A Dirge”]  – “The glories of our blood and state/Are shadows, not substantial things;/There is no armor against fate;/Death lays his icy hand on kings./Scepter and crown/Must tumble down/And in the dust be equal made/With the poor crooked scythe and spade./  Some men with swords may reap the field/And plant fresh laurels where they kill,/But their strong nerves at last must yield;/They tame but one … Read More

Naropa Summer Writing Program 2017

Starting tomorrow – the 2017 session of the Naropa Summer Writing Program.

Here are all the details. From June 11 to July 1st – “The New Weathers” – Anne Waldman explains: “By The New Weathers, we intend to name the ramifications of climate change wrought in the Anthropocene. The luminous details evidencing these changes abound, and daily the case of inevitably grows. These are urgent days, and a new world is possible––and this world is yet worth struggling for. To face facts with creative and spirited resolve; to see through webs of ignorance and power; to witness and study, … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 319

“Hates dull teachers and Republicans,” , “May all of your 50 children be Democrats” – Yesterday an inscribed copy of Allen’s 1943 Paterson High School yearbook went up for auction (see here for a detailed earlier report)

The estimated value was $3,000-$5,000.  It apparently didn’t  meet that reserve price – too high?

More on the recent digitalization of “Howl”  (recently reported on here and here – and here)

“I don’t think he would be out of touch with the role of history in the last few months,…He’d be pushing for the ouster of Trump. He’d be in the … Read More