On “Stanzas Written At Night in Radio City” 

[Radio City Crossing. photo by Henry Silberman]

OnStanzas Written At Night in Radio City” 

[hear Allen in a recording of him reading the poem (from the LP/CD “The Lion For Real”)  here  – (and. here (in 1980), and, from a recording from 1981, in San Francisco  at The Intersection – here]

AG:   “If money made the mind more sane./ Or money mellowed in the bowel/ The hunger beyond the hunger’s pain,/ Or money choked the mortal growl/ And made the groaner grin again,/ Or did the laughing lamb embolden/ To loll where has … Read More

Three Models (Wyatt, Raleigh & Shirley)

[Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542), Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618), and James Shirley (1596-1666)]

AG: Then. – one….  from (Sir Thomas) Wyatt. (on page one twenty-two?) – an imitation of Wyatt. You remember the lines in Wyatt about…  (let’s see) where Wyatt is here..? –“My Lute Awake/ perform the last labors…” –  “My lute awake! perform the last/ Labour that thou and I shall waste,/ And end that I have now.…” ..do..? …is that it? – Where’s Wyatt (in our books)?.. what page is it? – one-twenty?.. yes, here, at one-twenty…)

Well, there is that – “My lute … Read More

Pull My Daisy (Collaborative Poem)

AG: And another one of the similar.. well, of a similar theme, just a crazy (crazy).. – the mad song?  you know, just the idea of the madman’s song?, was – “Pull My Daisy”,  (which began as a little lyric that I wrote, “Pull my daisy/tip my cup…”) – “Pull my daisy/tip my cup/Cut my thoughts/for coconuts...” – (Well I heard, at some point, about Christopher Smart, actually) –  “When I think of death/ I get a goofy feeling/Then I catch my breath/Zero is appealing/Appearances are hazy/Smart went crazy/Smart went crazy” – (Christopher Smart, I meant with that – … Read More

Allen Ginsberg and “The Shrouded Stranger”

[Lamont Cranston – The Shadow –  “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?”]

AG: This isn’t in the the same meter (as Tom O’ Bedlam) but it’s a similar theme – [Allen next proceeds to read, in its entirety, his poem “The Shrouded Stranger“] – So that was somewhat the same theme. And then (Jack) Kerouac, at the same time, was saying, or conceiving.. We were discussing the notion of the shrouded stranger, a ghostly figure, or, you know, a shroud of New York, a shroud of the East River.  So he wrote up… … Read More

The Wisdom of the Crazy – Tom O’Bedlam

[”From the hag and hungry goblin/that into rags would rend ye/All the sprites that stands by the naked man/In the book of moons, defend ye..”]-  (image from Guillaume-Benjamin Duchenne de Boulogne – Mécanisme de la physionomie humaine) (1862),] 

AG (from 1980):  We’ve been going through these poems of such persons as the Tom o’ Bedlam anonymous lyric, Marlowe, Wyatt, Donne, Marvell, Herbert, Shakespeare, Milton   (and I’ve been recommending everybody to get the rhythm in their bones and learn the stylistics).

And so now I want to… I mentioned that when I was beginning to study … Read More

Andrew Marvell – The Garden – 3

[Michelangelo – The Creation of Adam – detail of  fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, painted c.1508-1512]

Allen Ginsberg on Andrew Marvell’s “The Garden” continues

Student:  I don’t understand.  (In the last part [of Marvell’s poem, “The Garden”], I think I don’t follow the argument)

AG: Okay… which are we speaking of? –  the next-to-last, or the last stanza?

Student: (In the last two stanzas…)

Such was that happy garden-state,/ While man there walk’d without a mate;/ After a place so pure and sweet,/ What other help could yet be meet!/ But ’twas beyond … Read More

Andrew Marvell – The Garden – 2

Allen Ginsberg continuing – on Andrew Marvell’s “The Garden”

“How vainly men themselves amaze/To win the palm, the oak, or bays,/And their incessant labours see/Crown’d from some single herb or tree,Whose short and narrow verged shade/Does prudently their toils upbraid;/While all flow’rs and all trees do close/To weave the garlands of repose.”

AG: That is to say, all these people struggling in the city (it’s the beginning of the city again, and it’s..  he’s paralleling that poem that we read before by (Abraham) Cowley about “the crowd, and buzz, and murmurings,/Of this great hive the city.” – “Ah, yet, ere … Read More

Andrew Marvell – The Garden – 1

[Section of late 16th Century English embroidery, “The Garden of Eden”, currently in the collectionof the Metropolitan Museum in NewYork]

Allen Ginsberg on Andrew Marvell continuing from here 

AG: Okay, move on now to “The Garden”, on page three seven four. .And “The Garden” is considered by many people to be the greatest lyric poem in the English language, on account of it has great sound, it has great picture, it has great intellectual capacity and significance, it is transcendent intellectually in that it goes of into a sphere of mind-awareness that is beyond anything so far displayed in … Read More

Marvell – (The Mower To The Glow-Worms)

Allen Ginsberg on Andrew Marvell –  continues

AG: Well then there’s more here. I would like to do “The Definition of Love” but I want to move on to “The Mower To the Glow-Worms ,(it’s a little tiny lyric), because it’s so pretty. And the ear’s so pretty in this too – Page three seven three – It’s a good as ear as – remember? – “Come live with me and be my love..” “Melodious birds sing madrigals” – remember that? – remember that line – “Melodious birds sing madrigals”.. from what was it?…Marlowe.. yes.. “by whose falls..” … Read More

Marvell – (To His Coy Mistress)

Allen Ginsberg on Andrew Marvell continuing from here

AG: So his “The Dialogue Between Soul and Body” is fine and “The Nymph Complaining for the Death of Her Fawn” is long but fine.

Then you get to his “(To His) Coy Mistress.”  Is (there) anybody know that poem? [show of hands] And how many do not? How many do not know Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress”? Well how many do then? – one, two.. well most all do now.. Okay, then, shall we go through it? – I think yes… because this has, I think, (the) two … Read More