[William Carlos Williams in Rutherford, New Jersey, 1928 – photo via Beinecke Library]
AG: (That) Pound poem I’ll have to find. (It’s) called “In Durance” – 1907, so probably prior to Williams, Williams probably imitating it. Very American in his statement, but, at the same time, written in an archaic style – “In Durance” – [Allen proceeds to read Ezra Pound’s poem “In Durance” in its entirety] – “I am homesick after mine own kind./ Oh I know that there are folk about me, friendly faces,/ But I am homesick after mine own kind..”..”Beyond, beyond, beyond, there lies..” – … Read More
AG: “…love that I love with beauty and delight and wit, or something..” “I am homesick after mine own kind” [Allen quotes from Pound’s 1907 poem, “In Durance” here] – If you have a chance, look that up, it’s in Personae by Pound (that’s his early poems) – (“…I know the glory/ of th’ unbounded … Read More
“The Raper from Passenack” – [Allen reads William Carlos Williams’ poem, “The Raper from Passenack” in its entirety] (“..I wish I could shoot him. How would/ you like to know a murderer?/I may do it..”) – It’s a character again. Like somebody talking for real. Somebody very intelligent, actually. Sounds to me like somebody very intelligent in total shock, coming out of a total shock, but the doctor is listening, Doctor Williams is listening. He’s got to treat the lady. “Invocation and … Read More
[Jack Kerouac, 1944. Photo c. AllenGinsberg Estate]
[William Carlos Williams, Self Portrait (1914) via ACSU Buffalo]
Student: Allen? Had (Jack) Kerouac written, say, On The Road, by the time (William Carlos) Williams met him?
AG: Oh yes, yes.
Student: And Kerouac admired Williams?
Student: Did Williams read any of Kerouac?
AG: Yeah, Williams read quite a bit of Kerouac, and he read his poetry – and liked it. I mean, not a great deal (by the time they met, Williams had had a stroke and was not active reading a lot – he was active writing. … Read More
AG: So the first poem I’ll read is a combination of (the) mythical and the local Passaic River. He discovered the Passaic River as his river (rather than Lethe or the Thames). He’s talking to, I imagine, the Muse, bringing him to the river…”St James’ Grove“… (page 10 in the Collected Earlier Poems, if you’ve got it). [Allen reads from the first stanza of “St James’ Grove” … Read More
Howard Brookner’s 1985 Burroughs movie is, as we’ve said before, essential viewing (notwithstanding the presence of another equally comprehensive one, Yony Leyser’s William S Burroughs: A Man Within (2010). Ed Koziarski, in 2oo9, in the Chicago Reader, explains the reasons for the second film – “(James) Grauerholz [Burroughs’ friend, confident and literary executor] had been unhappy with (the) previous documentary..in which he’d also played an active role” – Koziarski quotes James – “I was surprised to see how my role in William’s life had been handled in the final editing process..Basically, the BBC editors took a dislike to … Read More
[William Carlos Williams in Rutherford, New Jersey, 1955 via jacket2]
AG: The reason I was going to begin with (William Carlos) Williams was that Williams was the one person who made the great breakthrough to his own self, his own house, his own kitchen, his own wife, his own ice-box, his own street, his own maple and poplar trees, his neighborhood characters, his own hospital, his own patients, as subjects, as fit subjects, for an American poetics. Fro that point of view. That’s why I would start with Williams as the basic ground, or place, in poetics, and then … Read More