July 19 (Mayakovsky’s Birthday)

[Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930)]

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) .

Further posts  here (Akhmatova and Mayakovsky), here (Mayakovsky on Esenin), here (Mayakovsky and Mandelstam), here (“The Bedbug”), here (“At The Top of My Voice“), here (Mayakovsky and the Revolution), here (Mayakovsky and … Read More

Syllabic Poems – 4 (Herrick)

[“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,)

Now, the weird thing is, … Read More

Syllabic Poetry – 3 (Ginsberg)

[“I learned a world from each/one whom I loved…”]

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

Buddhism and The Beats (Ginsberg 1993 – 2 – Trungpa Rinpoche)

Continuing from yesterday.

[Buddha doodle. Allen Ginsberg. April 5, 1991]

[Mantra: Benefit for Kama Dzong Meditation Center, May 6, 1972. Macky Auditorium, Boulder, CO]

[Allen Ginsberg and Chögyam  Trungpa,  Rinpoche. Benefit for Kama Dzong Meditation Center, May 6, 1972. Macky Auditorium, Boulder, CO. Photo:  Bob Morehouse]

AG : Then, 1972 Trungpa Rinpoche invited me to Boulder to give a poetry reading to raise money for Rocky Mountain Dharma Center along with Robert Bly and Gary Snyder. So I was really pleased to go out and see him in his home territory and went out there and he invited … Read More

Buddhism and The Beats (Ginsberg 1993 – I – Introduction)

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)

AG: Well, good evening, Rinpoche [Lobsang Samten Rinpoche] and I met very recently at the house … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 324

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.

And speaking of the ‘Sixties counter-culture in England, look out also for this – (and the resulting exhibition – “The British Underground Press of the SixtiesRead More

July 12, 1995 – Part Two (Sikelianos, Waldman, Carroll)

Continuing from yesterday

This second part of the reading begins with Eleni Sikelianos

[Eleni Sikelianos, photo:  Maria Garcia-Teutsch]

Max Regan: “Eleni Sikelianos is the author of To Speak While Dreaming, published in 1993 by Salva Editions . She’s also the recipient of a California Arts Council Residency grant in San Francisco where she teaches writing to children and the homeless and at the San Francosco Art Institute. She has work appearing in Japan, has been translated into French, and will be published in France this Fall. She recently recieved the Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative American WritingRead More

July 12 1995 – Part One (Ginsberg, Blaser, Brown)

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

Syllabic Poetry – 2 ( Herrick)

[Poems Selected from the Hesperides by Robert Herrick, 1903]

AG : So,in this case. First, his (Robert Herrick‘s) sense, “The Argument of his Book” – Subject-matter – “(Argument”, you know, “Argument” in (John) Milton and here, it’s the subject-matter, and also in my own “Contest of Bards”, the phrase “Argument” means what’s going to go on, book by book.

“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

Syllabic Poetry – 1 (Herrick)

 [Robert Herrick (1591-1674)]

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