Jack Kerouac to Allen Ginsberg November 1957

[Jack Kerouac reading at The Village Vanguard, December 1957. Photo via Dave Moore on Paul Maher Jr’s  Jack Kerouac-Writer ]

Another Ginsberg letter today – this one to Allen (dated November 30, 1957 – sixty years ago today) from Jack Kerouac in Orlando, Florida to Allen in Paris.  Jack confesses he’s drunk, and broke, but writing up a storm (writing Dharma Bums) and looking toward the future.

Dear Allen.  Your poem [“Kaddish’] very beautiful, especially “eyes of Ma Rainey dying in an ambulance” (why don’t you spell it “aumbulance” which would mean aum-vehicle…)…well, and Greg’s [Gregory Corso’s]  “sweetly in … Read More

Allen and Louis and the Vietnam War – November 1965 Letter

A passionate letter today from 1965  (at the height of the Vietnam War), Allen, in San Francisco, on this day (November 29), writing to his father. The naivety, indeed myopia, on his father’s side exasperated Allen (the simplicity of the goad that he was a “Communist”  that the “Commies infiltrated and used guerilla tactics to ravage and despoil and murder countless peaceful S(outh) Vietnamese”, that somehow an evil manipulating Communist China was the true force behind things and that America, far from being an aggressor, was somehow welcomed there as “protector”.   “I’m not playing that game”, Allen declares .… Read More

William Blake’s Birthday

William Blake was born today, two hundred and sixty years ago, in London, England

We salute the great, inspired, poet, painter, visionary.

Here’s poet, scholar, literary maverick, Iain Sinclair, for the British Library, on an essential quality of the man – William Blake’s radicalism

[Blake’s image of Albion, accompanying the words Albion rose from where he labourd at the Mill with Slaves/Giving himself for the Nations hedanc’d thedance of Eternal Death]

and here’s Sinclair speaking of Blake’s spiritual visions

[The Ghost of A Flea – William Blake (c.1820)]

Allen Ginsberg and William Blake – we have covered the relationship … Read More

Harry Smith

[“Buddha’s Footprint” – Harry Smith’s logo for Allen Ginsberg]

Twenty-seven years since the passing of Harry Smith on this day, Monday the 27th, (Harry would, of course, have enjoyed the numerological alignment)

Harry has been profiled and featured often on The Allen Ginsberg Project. most recently and extensively – here (see that page for links to several of our other Harry Smith postings)

Next Friday (December 1st) at New York’s Howl Happening Gallery, Raymond Foye will host a celebration of Harry’s life and work – featuring the screening (a New York premier) of a 1984 film by Robert FrankRead More

Allen Ginsberg at County College, Morris, New Jersey, 1979

Continuing with our spotlight on the videotapes in the Stanford University Archives (we’re coming to the end of it). Today’s feature (like last week’s) is nuggets extracted from a broader swath. In 1987, Sander Zulauf made a selection (on two tapes) of readings that took place between 1976 and 1985 at CCM, the County College of Morris in Randolph, New Jersey – The First American Poetry Disc – An Introduction to Poetry, which featured over a dozen American poets, (most, if not all, of a decidedly academic bent – The undeniably stand-out reader/anomaly here was Allen (who, accompanied by … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 343

Cartoon Comix Allen. We’ve  featured this manifestation several times before, notably in the thoughtful and lively work of Nathan Gelgud.

and, back in the 70’s, not forgetting Pat Ryan and Allen’s Chicago Trial Testimony in comic form 

Keeping that tradition going, a shout-out to talented Sasha Velour‘s on-going graphic novel on Stonewall.

Allen makes an appearance, of course.

Who is that who’s sitting there in the back of the cab?

Beatdom – Here’s the current print issue of Beatdom

and  Beatdom on-line is always a good place to head to – recently posted:  editor, David S Read More

Original Emotions/Archetypal Rhythms

Student: Would it do any good to know what these rhythms are if you don’t have the capability of voicing that feeling or that emotion that ends up being one of these.,
AG: Well, I think that these cadences and these emotions are natural, so I don’t think that anybody has the problem of feeling them, and, in private, voicing them, (either to themselves, or to another person). I think everybody..  I think they’re in the range of everybody’s emotional spectrum. You may not feel so about it but you’ve got that delicacy,  Sure. Don’t you? – … Read More

“The Time of Composition”

 
[Rainer Maria Gerhardt (1927-1954)]
[Ted Berrigan (1934-1983)]
 
[Charles Olson (1910-1970)]
Student: Can I ask you a little bit of an off-the-wall question?
AG: Yes.. Why don’t we leave this time open now for just general…
Student: In our (Ted) Berrigan class  tonight, he said this comment that,  “The time of the composition is the time of the composition”…. (I’ve been trying to understand that)  and I’ve been trying all night.  And he says “Well, you should know that with every poem that you read, (before you start out).
AG: The time of  the composition is the time of the … Read More

Pound, Waller and The Wonder Breath

[“Oh!” ( the mouth open-wide, a “wonder-breath” – “Ah! – “Go!” – (Allen Ginsberg & Peter Orlovsky re Ezra Pound & Edmund Waller) – 1979 – Photograph by Desdemone Bardin]
AG: Well, if you..   I ‘d like to read that whole thing [Ezra Pound’s “Envoi“] once in..  just through, to get the variance from one stanza to another, because it seems that it’s surging, a very delicate surge from stanza to stanza that really concludes in a nice way – and it’s great music. In fact, why don’t we do it together?   this one.. … why don’t … Read More

Pound and Waller (“Go dumb-born book”)

[Ezra Pound]
[Edmund Waller]
AG: Then (Ezra) Pound (on page one thousand and six). He thinks it [Waller’s “Song”} ‘s so good that it’s his high-water mark, so he wants a... And, in Pound, it’s amazing, it’s one of the few cases in the history of English poetry where somebody made an imitation that’s really just as good as the original, because Pound’s “Envoi” of 1919 is actually as beautiful, I think, as the Waller [“Go, lovely rose] –
So “Go dumb-born book’ – but was..  it.. you know..  Pound’s specialty was this long.. was quantitative meter,
Read More