Today, July 19, the great poet, Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky, was born in Baghdati, Georgia. We’ve featured Mayakovsky numerous times here on the Allen Ginsberg Project. For example, here and here.
The fourteen-part series, Allen’s 1981 focus (with in-class presentation by Ann Charters) begins here, and continues here, here and here (Expansive Poetry) .
[“Water, water, I desire/Here’s a house of flesh on fire..”]
AG: (returning to an analysis of Robert Herrick) – “The Scare-fire” (on page two seventy four) – That’s all seven syllables – “Water, water, I desire/Here’s a house of flesh on fire/Ope the fountains and the springs,/And come all to bucketings /What ye cannot quench pull down /Spoil a house to save a town /Better ’tis that one should fall,/Than by one to hazard all. ” – (da-da da-da da-da da, da-da da-da da-da da, da,-da da-da da-da da, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7,)
AG: I used a lot.. I used a method..I used that in a lot of early poems that I was doing, imitating (William Carlos) Williams, just little free-verse poems, but I would rearrange them from prose, and arranged them into balanced little five-syllable, three-syllable, five-syllable, three-syllable, whatever – ” I learned a world from each/ one whom I loved/ so many/ worlds /without /a Zodiac” – [from his poem “The Night Apple”] – six-four, six-four. I mean, I had written it down in prose on the paper, in … Read More
A real treat this weekend – with gratitude to Robyn Brentano and students from the NYU Ethnographic Film Program – “Buddhism and the Beats.”. “In 1993, Allen Ginsberg spoke to a gathering of students of the Tibetan Buddhist monk, Lobsang Samten, about the impact of Buddhist thought and practice on himself, the Beat writers, and American culture at large”. The full hour-and-a-half tape is transcribed below (continuing tomorrow, and with the Q & A session to be featured here next weekend)
For all you sticklers for detail out there, Sunday July 17, Allen’s appearance with Sopwith Camel, was in 1966. The following year (1967) found him in London, speaking at Steven Abrams‘ “Legalize Pot Rally”.Barry Miles was inevitably there. There weren’t too many classic moments of the “Sixties when Miles wasn’t present! Miles’ 2002 memoir, “In The Sixties” just got re-issued in a profuse illustrated edition – see here.
Anniversaries. We love anniversaries. July 12, 1995. The above group-reading at Naropa, twenty-two years on. The above six were joined by Steven Taylor (on several pieces, as accompanist) and Andrew Schelling and Max Regan giving introductions). The tape begins in media res with Allen reading from his “visionary dream” of the past January (January 14. 1995) , followed by “Newt Gingrich Declares War On “McGovernik Counterculture” , “The Ballad of the Skeletons” (“Skeleton Keys”), and “New Stanzas For Amazing Grace”
Allen Ginsberg: “(Poetry America was born before us & will live after us — and would’ve been visible … Read More
“I sing of brooks, of blossoms, birds, and bowers,/ Of April, May, of June, and July flowers. /I sing of May-poles, hock-carts, wassails, wakes..” – (you know “hock carts” that brought in the last corn of the harvest, … Read More
AG: So in order to strike a “second heat/ upon the Muse’s anvil”, using Robert Herrick as a model, I want now to enter onto the whole subject, not of length of syllables in a line, but the count of syllables in the line (because that’s something we haven’t really gone over, except, I think I’ve refered to it with Marianne Moore). And (Robert) Herrick is real interesting on that, and real simple. Once you pick up the hang of what he’s doing, you realize that that’s another way of getting your lines to have … Read More