Jonson’s Lucius Cary & Henry Morison

[ Two Young Men – (ca. 1590) – by Crispin van den Broeck (1523-ca.1591) – oil on panel – 44.5 cm × 60 cm –  Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England]

AG: This (poem) [Ben Jonson’s “To The Immortal Memory and Friendship of That Noble Pair, Sir Lucius Cary and Sir Henry Morison“- is about two young fellows who are really good friends, maybe lovers (there’s some slight suggestion of “heart-love” between them), who died young. As the last line says, on page two-sixty-five, “Who ere the first down bloomèd on the chin/Had sowed these fruits, and got the harvest … Read More

The Structure of the Ode

Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 Basic Poetics class continues

AG: Strophe (is that pronounced strophee or strophe?)

Student: Strophee, I think

AG: Strophee – or Strophee/Antistrophee maybe – and  Epode. So the anti-strophe or antistrophe would be simply a mirror image of it, perhaps responding, responding to the first statement, and then the epode would be a variation on the form, (not necessarily the same but making use of the similar kinds of lines). And it’s good for certain kinds of formal poems, or occasional poems, or political poems. Like, I wrote Plutonian Ode (but I wasn’t paying attention to the … Read More

Gay Pride (Allen Ginsberg – Out Since The ‘Fifties)

[Plaque for Allen Ginsberg in San Francisco’s Castro, on the sidewalk, on the Rainbow Honor Walk]

Gay Pride – Allen Ginsberg –  LGBT hero –

Today, celebrating the day,  a little fugitive footage – queer tv – from Network Q’s,  “Out Across America” –  episode 35, from  September 1994 – (for the rest of this particular episode see here).

Filmmaker Jerry Aronson is interviewed, on a sunny day in Boulder, about his film “The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg,”   Allen makes a number of appearances.

Producer-director, David  Surber begins: “Our cinema feature this month is part … Read More

1974 – Scottish International Interview

[Allen Ginsberg – Photograph(s) by Ian Dryden]

We’ve previously featured here footage from Allen’s 1973 visit to Scotland     ( a reading for the Center for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow). We also featured some grainy footage (and some transcription from his press conference). Here (with some duplication) is the interview that appeared in Scottish International, September 1973. Allen, as a note in the magazine reveals, had been visiting with Chogyam Trungpa (in exile then in Scotland)  and the Buddhist community at Samye Ling monastery at Eskdalemuir, near Dumfries, as well as giving readings and traveling around.  He had also taken time … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 321

Today is the official release day for The Complete Songs Of Innocence And Experience, Allen’s Blake settings, re-released on CD and Digital by Omnivore Recordings, for the first time, (plus a second disc of rarities and previously unissued songs). For earlier announcements on the Allen Ginsberg Project  – see here and here.

 Gordon Ball (from Pat Thomas‘ illuminating and extensive accompanying booklet of sleeve-notes) in answer to the question, “Why William Blake?”::

“Allen always saw poetry and music as linked, not separate, art forms…and had a long history with Blake going back to that 1948 vision or … Read More

Pindaric Odes

[ Pindar (c. 522 – c. 443 BC)]

AG:  So, “..since our dainty age/ Cannot endure reproof,/Make not thyself a page/To that strumpet, the stage/But sing high and aloof,/Safe from the wolf’s black jaw and the dull ass’s hoof “ (that’s the end of that poem (by Ben Jonson) “On Himself” – Ode to Himself) – “Safe from the wolf’s black jaw and the dull ass’s hoof” (A lot of elitist poets have always liked that line as being an acme of put-down of vulgar public – it’s on page two-six-two of the..

Then  you studied … Read More

Bob Dylan’s Mother

[Bob Dylan, alongside his mother, Beatrice (“Beatty”) Rutman, at the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, Washington DC,  1997]

AG: [speaking in 1980, to his Naropa students] – I had supper…  I had lunch with Bob Dylan’s mother  (It was funny ..). She was very plump. She goes in a house with wall-to-wall carpeting and plates on the wall, and little gimmicks and geegaws, and bowls that she picked up from her travels to Las Vegas, (or) Scottsdale, Arizona, where her daughter is… {editorial note -Allen is confused here, Dylan doesn’t have a sister, just a younger brother, Read More

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 … 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