Andrew Marvell – (The Bermudas)

[“”Where the remote Bermudas ride..”]

AG: Now Marvell is really a marvel. Andrew Marvell is really a great lyricist, and in some of the poems that we’ll pick up on now he’s written perhaps some of the best  (some) of the best lines in the English language (including Shakespeare, or up with Shakespeare). There are a couple of crystal jewel perfect-resonating, good-sounding philosophically piercing statements. Also with a kind of spectral visionary visual quality. Also with an amazing ear. So, just to taste his ear to begin with, this little thing called “The Bermudas” which is purely an imaginary Walt Read More

Andrew Marvell (via John Aubery)

[Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)]

Allen Ginsberg, in 1980, on “Basic Poetics” continues from here

AG: Well, getting on now to more serious matters, Andy Marvell Andrew Marvell – a little history on him – from John Aubery, who was a contemporary, slightly later, who wrote Lives of the Poets  (sic) has a little page about Andrew Marvell –

“He was of middling stature….”    – “He was of a middling stature, pretty strong set, roundish faced, cherry-cheeked, hazel eye, brown hair. He was in his conversation very modest, and of very few words: and though he loved wine he would never … Read More

Richard Lovelace (Althea and Lucasta)

[Richard Lovelace (1617-1657)]

Allen Ginsberg, continuing his 1980 Basic Poetics class at Naropa – here

AG: Well, he lives only..  (Richard) Lovelace lives only forty years. The commentator here says,  “a life of only forty years spent in such vicissitude give little opportunity for that retirement from the world that art and scholarship require” – So, now, Lovelace has written a couple of classics, that everybody knows, by heart actually  – “To Althea From Prison” – maybe… who would like to read that? – does anybody know this poem? – Remember “Stone walls do not a prison make/Nor … Read More

Richard Lovelace

[Richard Lovelace (1617-1657)]

AG: Now we’ll find out about him..let’s see, Lovelace’s history. He was a friend of… Dick Lovelace was a friend of Jack Suckling, as you remember. Lets see now.. what is this?,.. born in Woolwich, 1618, died in Gunpowder Alley, near Shoe Lane, London, April 1658.. he was an improvisateur. “a more slovenly poet than Lovelace it would be difficult to find” (according to this editor from the nineteenth-century).

Well, here is the situation – (he has several poems about prison, which we’ll get to)

“Imprisonment from which he was suffering was brought on him

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Abraham Cowley – (“The Wish”)

 
[Abraham Cowley (1618-1667)]
AG:  Now, next we get to (Abraham)  Cowley , below, (page) three-sixty,  And the reason Cowley gets interesting is , finally, for the first time, the horrific City. enters in (as it will get increasingly, prophetically, apparent entering into the poetry.. (William) Blake will, pretty soon, (be) talking about.the opening (of the) streets of London and the “satanic mills”, and it’ll go on to the twentieth-century with “Moloch whose cities are…”  ” filled up with plutonian factories drizzling in the toilet!”) –  So here in “The Wish”, the vision the horror in the city,
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Richard Crashaw – 3 (“To His (Supposed) Mistress”)

[“glist’ring shoe-ty..” ?  – Dorothy’s “ruby slippers” from The Wizard of Oz]
Allen Ginsberg on Richard Crashaw continuing from here
 
AG: Then he (Crashaw) also has another poem that has a very pretty triplet thing,It’s rare in English to find three lines (one short, one longer, and then one longest, with the same rhyme -“be/she/me”, “lie/eye/destiny”, “birth/ forth/earth”)
 
So I’ll just read two or three stanzas of it because I don’t want to hang on to it too long (because you don’t have the text) – “Wishes To His (Supposed) Mistress
 
Who e’er she be/That
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A List of List Poems

AG:  But by this anaphoric rapture, or anaphoric repetition, it {Crashaw’s poem “The Flaming  Heart”] actually builds up to rapture. So this is what Anne Waldman calls a list poem”, actually, an early list poem. I taught a little poetry workshop this weekend and checked out list poems and the samples I used were (the) thirteenth and twenty-eighth chapters of Ecclesiastes (because there is “..or the golden bowl be broken”), and then I read Christopher Smart, I used “Like to the flaming of a star.”,  the little.. – I used that as a list
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Richard Crashaw – 2 (Saint Teresa)

 
[Gian Lorenzo Bernini – St Teresa in Ecstasy (detail) ) c.1647-52]
AG: But better than those, there’s one other poem to Saint Teresa, which begins, idiotically, with the image that her heart was so hot that the angels would be set fire by it, rather than the angels setting fire to her heart, or something like that.. Saint Teresa – “(The Flaming Heart) Upon The Book and Picture of (the seraphical) Saint Teresa (As she is usually expressed with Seraphim beside her)” –  So the whole poem is not worth our time now, we’re limited, but the end … Read More

Richard Crashaw

AG: Then we have now Richard Crashaw,  page three-five-six- There’s a funny Shakespearean line in that middle poem, “To The Infant Martyrs”.  Has anybody read that already? Anybody read on through Crashaw at all? (because somebody could read “”To The Infant Martyrs” – whoever starts reading could read it
Student -[reads] – “Go, smiling souls, your new-built cages break,/ In heaven you’ll learn to sing, ere here to speak,/ Nor let the milky fonts that bathe your thirst/Be your delay; /The place that calls you hence is, at the worst,/ Milk all the way.”
AG: … Read More

Anne Bradstreet

[Anne Bradstreet ( 1612-1672)]

Allen continues his 1980 Naropa lectures on Bssic Poetics – continuing from here 

AG: Now, naturally, while this is going on, there are all these heavy-handed people chomping and killing the Indians in America, in the name of God! – So, there’s a first..there’s a first gleam, coming over from America  in the middle of the English wit and chaos, there’s Anne Bradstreet, Jones Very (another great poet), Edward Taylor   (I don’t think Jones Very and Edward Taylor are here (in our anthology) but there’s a lady, Anne Bradstreet, the first American woman poet (pre-feminist … Read More