Allen Ginsberg on Christopher Smart continues
AG: And so what I’ll do now is read you some of Smart that you don’t have in the book and then we’ll get on to the book. It looks like that..long lines ..and it’s on facing pages, and on one side it begins, “Let man and beast appear before him, and magnify his name together..” (it depends., some are missing manuscripts)
AG: Lets get on to Christopher Smart on page five one five.
Student: But it sounds…
AG: Sounds, yeah, they’re similar. (Watts and Blake’s lullabies) I’m sorry, this belongs to… Now, has anybody read any Christopher Smart before? – One.. two.. Have you read some Smart?
Student: Maxwell Smart ?
AG; No, Christopher Smart. Do you know any Smart? Do you know.. Is he taught much? And what Smart is taught?
In this episode, a punk Jonathan Robbins appears to the consternation of Barry Farber, and Allen discusses, among other things, ecology (eco-consciousness) and the apparent difficulty (alleged impossibility) of translation.
BF: (The Beat Generation) ….was every feature-writer’s security blanket tranquillizer and pacifier. (I want to know, technically, how you attracted that much attention?)
AG: I think, mainly, it was we said what we really thought, rather than what we were supposed to think or what we thought would be, you know, palatable for the … Read More
The Barry Farber 1976 interview that we featured last week continues. Audio for the interview can be heard here and here
BF: I’m Barry Farber, Peter Orlovsky is with us – I think that means “the son of the eagle”
AG: Right… Russian too.
BF: Allen Ginsberg, Jonathan Robbins, that’s the poetic part of the panel. The journalistic side, who can’t care if it rhymes or has soul just as long as it asks the desired questions, Robert Goodman, a new broadcast journalist and a good one, Bullets Durgin, just said goodbye, … Read More
Changes to our site you may have noticed. Bear with us as we iron out a few more wrinkles..
Among the information freshly disseminated above, forthcoming autumn publications including Iron Curtain Journals: January-May 1965 edited by Michael Schumacher, tracking Allen’s most turbulent six months, his expulsion from Cuba, travels to Russia, Poland, Warsaw Ghetto, to Prague where he’s expelled by Czech police immediately after his May King crowning, only to land in London to meet the Beatles, film with Bob Dylan and host the The International Poetry Incarnation at the Royal Albert Hall. We can’t wait for this one.
AG: Then, the next thing I wanted to pick up is the relation of… passing on.. to Isaac Watts (or back to Isaac Watts, you realize the last week , we’ve taken a long loop from Isaac Watts and are back to Isaac Watts now – second poem of Isaac Watts (in that anthology) is…. what page is that? ..
Student: Four forty-five
AG: Four forty-nine?
AG; Okay. Did anybody get to read that “Cradle Hymn“? – third poem. Who likes to read..?
Student: What page?
AG: Four … Read More
We’ve been transcribing and serializing Allen’s 1980 Basic Poetics classes at Naropa and we’re almost at the end. In May 15, May 18, and May 22, he discusses Sappho and the Sapphic meter and gives various examples of poets working with this ancient form (see our previous transcription of these classes, for example, here, here, here, and here)
Picking up on his penultimate class. conducted May 26 1980
Throned in splendor, deathless, O Aphrodite, child of Zeus, charm-fashioner, I entreat you not with griefs and bitternesses to … Read More
Barry Farber’s 1975 radio interview continues. In this second segment, Allen engages with two studio guests (unlikely cohorts), the open-minded and wonderfully out-of-fashion “Bullets” Durgin, and Robert Goodman, “a young reporter, no longer just a collegiate reporter”
BF: Poets, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Jonathan Robbins (are here) with us, (and) “Bullets” Durgin, the hero-manager, who began driving a truck for a big-name band and wound up driving big names with truck-driver power to success that, sometimes they gave him credit for, and sometimes they didn’t (his cases where they … Read More
Drawing this weekend from the remarkable Stanford archives. We begin with a tape from 1976, Allen and company in conversation with conservative talk-show host Barry Farber, a two-hour radio appearance (We’ll be featuring it in segments – In the first, today, the opening salvos, he has to defend himself against Farber’s avuncular but also barbed and somewhat patronizing knee-jerk anti-Communism)
BF: Broadcasters all like to do different things with Allen Ginsberg. I’m going to copy what Bill Buckley did with him one time on television I … Read More
`Beats and Buddhism. We mentioned David S Wills’ essay, “The Intersection of Buddhism and the Beat Generation”, a few weeks back, here’s another one, Michael Amudsen’s essay in Empty Mirror – “Jack Kerouac – Avatar of American Buddhism”
Irwin Allen Ginsberg died on this day, April 5 1997. We direct your attention to two haunting accounts of his last hours, one by Rosebud Feliu-Pettet, the other by Gelek Rinpoche.
April 4 – Thirty-one years on since the death of Allen’s great spiritual teacher and the founder of Naropa Institute (now Naropa University), Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Naropa just recently announced the establishment of the Chögyam Trungpa Institute, a new academic research center, to encourage ““critical assessment by scholars and practitioners of Chögyam Trungpa’s body of teachings and his place in the development of Buddhism in the West,” It will seek to “support new directions that honor the spirit of his work, through expositions, classes, research, debate, and other means”, (including, most significantly, … Read More
Marlon Brando‘s birthday today. We figured we’d feature the classic letter (belatedly discovered) written, circa 1957, to him by Jack Kerouac – “Dear Marlon, I’m praying you’ll buy On The Road and make a movie of it…”
Nothing sadly came of it. (“Brando is a shit, doesn’t answer letter from (the) greatest writer in America and he’s only a piddling king’s clown of the stage” (JK to AG, November 30. 1957))