James Shirley – 1

[James Shirley (1596-1666)]

AG: Then the next death poem is this great thing by James Shirley which we have in our agenda, page three-hundred, which… this poem is one of my top ten in the English language for really beautiful cadence, for sharpness and abruptness and clarity of idea, and for interesting stanza form. And it seems to be a song from a book by.. I’ve forgot what Shirley’s play was.. I have it somewhere.. somebody look it up, find out where it comes from – (page) four-twenty-seven in Auden, [the Auden-Pearson anthology] he’d give the provenance… [Allen discovers … Read More

Revisiting Jack Kerouac’s Poems – 2

AG: And… more on death… was..(224th Chorus, Mexico City Blues) – “Great God Almighty/, What’s to be done?/O what’s to be done?/ Sings the majestical keener/and moaner/At the Mexican Funeral home -/And from a clap in the up clouds/Comes a clap of clouts,/”All has been done”/As Theravada say “Nothing”/Nada moonshine number, whats been done?/All been done – all singly blessed – /All has been done? The mansion’s/been built and Damema/grown old & died/in burning house within?…” [Damema is Milarepa‘s teacher, Marpa‘s, mother…er wife! – so, odd,  he knew Damema. I think his knowledge of Damema  … Read More

Revisiting Jack Kerouac’s Poems – 1

AG: We don’t have that (Jack) Kerouac poem, let’s see -Kerouac’s serious death shot (you know, mortality) was a poem that ends “Poor!  I wish I were…”  [“Poor! I wish I was..”] – Yeah, I got it, okay… number 211 (in Mexico City Blues)  – (the) 211th Chorus, in Kerouac.. Just to bring this up to “Like To The Falling of A Star” or the little (George) Herbert poem that we had wherein all died – “Virtue”? – “The root is ever in its grave/ And thou must die”, “My music shows ye have your closes,/ And … Read More

Allen Ginsberg’s Rhyming Assignment

Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 Naropa class transcript continues

Student; Did you ever do.. have a go [at Echo Poems]?

AG: No, never did one myself but it’d be interesting to do. Should I assign it to class?

Student: You could..

AG: You’re the T.A. (teaching assistant). The assignments.. the class assignments, we have, by the way, I said I’d get to.. was.. are,/ so far,/ .not very profuse, or exact, or neat/, or complete/. You haven’t hammered your stammer/ to make it exact or compact. So, what I would suggest/ would be you be the guest/ of the muse/ and … Read More

Allen Ginsberg’s (91st) Birthday

The dogwood, the dogwood!  – the flowering kousa dogwood, in the churchyard at St Marks in New York, planted especially for Allen (and flowering on the occasion of his birthday) has become something of an obsession for us here at The Allen Ginsberg Project. So here it is again – 2017’s version.

Happy (91st) birthday, Allen!

Previous years dogwood postings can be found herehere, and here

thinking of him and missing him.… Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 318

Anniversary of Allen Ginsberg’s birth tomorrow. Anne Waldman and guests will be celebrating it at the Fox Theatre in Boulder

Meanwhile in NYC (from 3-9) at the Howl Happening Gallery (also celebrating the upcoming re-release of the Ginsberg-Blake Songs of Innocence and Experience on CD)  – Ed Sanders, Steven Taylor, Ernie Brooks & Bear 54 and readings by Bob Rosenthal, Bob Holman, Hettie Jones, David Henderson, Basil King, & other surprise guests.

Speaking of Anne Waldman, how about this? – the Anne Waldman comic! – “the story of Anne Waldman in her … Read More

More Whitman

continuing to celebrate Walt Whitman –  (and Whitman’s prescience)

from Allen’s 1980 essay, “On Walt Whitman, Composed on the Tongue, or, Taking A Walk Through Leaves of Grass” (originally published in Walt Whitman – The Measure of His Song (1981) and included in the essay-collection, Deliberate Prose (2000))

“There was a man, Walt Whitman, who lived in the nineteenth century in America, who began to define his own person, who began to tell his own secrets, who outlined his own body, and made an outline of his own mind, so other people could see it. He was the sort of … Read More