Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 345

[ Allen Ginsberg East Side High Paterson Yearbook Photo c.1940]

Matthew Powers loving memories of Allen were first published in 2002 in the premier issue of Heeb and were recently made available – here.

[Matthew Powers and Allen Ginsberg]

Powers, a gifted and extraordinary journalist, who died in Uganda in 2014, at the way-too-young age of only 39, is a figure who shouldn’t, and will not, be forgotten.

Another perceptive report on Allen in old age (in his latter years),  August Kleinzahler‘s “Lunching With Ginsberg” (from his book, Sallies, Romps, Portraits, and Send-Offs – Selected Prose 2000-2015), … Read More

Sir John Suckling – 2

[ John Suckling (1609-1641)]

continued from yesterday 

AG: So Suckling is one of those characters who was on the side of the King but he’s an extraordinary person. So, of all people, he needs a little biographical background to get something of the panache, lilt, flair, charm, Jimmy Dean-esque quality, of his little lyrics

“Beautiful and vigorous in body, educated in all the accomplishments that grace a gentleman, endowed from earliest youth with the prestige of a soldier and a popular courtier, his enormous wealth enabled him to indulge every whim that a fondness for what was splendid or … Read More

Sir John Suckling – 1

[John Suckling (1609-1641)]

Allen’s 1980 Naropa class on Basic Poetics continues

AG: Let’s start in the anthology with Sir John Suckling  (page three forty-nine),  with the poem called “Song”, which my father used to stomp around the house and recite when he was  teaching it in high school all the time  because it’s a charming poem, and, apparently, it was very popular among the lyric poets of the 1920s as a model example of all-time great top-ten lyric out of English history. And it fitted in with the tuneful cynicism of the ‘twenties, like (the) Floradora Sextette and the Flappers, Read More

Gershom Scholem

[Gershom Scholem (1897-1982)]

Gershom Scholem,  from  On Jews and Judaism in Crisis – Selected Essays

“The poet Allen Ginsberg once visited me. A likeable fellow. Genuine. Strange, mad, but genuine. I took a strong liking to him.My wife and I had a very interesting conversation with him, and in her inimitable way she asked him. “Why don’t you come to live here?” (I never ask anyone this question. People know whether and when it is time to come; that’s basic. If people want to come then it’s possible to talk to them about it. But I don’t have it in … Read More

Shunryu Suzuki (1904-1971)

Remembering today one of the great Buddhist teachers, Suzuki Roshi,  Shunryu Suzuki, influential Soto Zen priest and founder of the San Francisco Zen Center and the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center (the first Soto Zen training monastery in the United States and one of the very first Buddhist training monasteries to be established outside of Asia)

Suzuki was also the author of the hugely popular Zen Mind, Beginners Mind  (1970). a key book from a key figure in the spreading in the West of the dharma.

Here’s Allen – from an interview, circa.1996, with David Chadwick: 

DC: Can you remember the … Read More

Allen Ginsberg in 1982 on The Vern and Evelyn Show

The last of our spotlighted videos from the Stanford Allen Ginsberg Archives is a strange one – Allen on a cable tv improvised-comedy show –  Leon Varjian’s “The Vern & Evelyn Show”  (broadcast out of Madison, Wisconsin (WISC Cable 4) back in 1982).  Allen appears in three segments, in addition to a framing skit where he is jokingly misperceived (since he’s “world-famous”) as the author of the much-loved (and corny) baseball poem Casey at The Bat

The first segment (approximately three-and-a-quarter minutes in) is a spontaneous collaboration with Varjian, “Dueling Poets”,  (parodying “the Dueling Banjos scene” from the 1972 film … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 344

We promised we’d have word for you, and now it’s finally out! A definitive Chinese edition of the Collected Poems 1947-1997, from Chinese publishing house Shanghai 99  has just hit stores in China – a stunning three-volume set, with translations by Hui Ming.   More details on the publisher’s Chinese language web-site- here.  (and more details from us in the weeks ahead)

More news (Beat Generation news) :

[Two (undated) images by Jack Kerouac – “Untitled” and “Raven” – from the upcoming MA*GA Museum, “Beat Painting” show – courtesy ANSA]

Jack Kerouac’s Beat Painting show opens on Sunday at The Read More

Jack Kerouac to Allen Ginsberg November 1957

[Jack Kerouac reading at The Village Vanguard, December 1957. Photo via Dave Moore on Paul Maher Jr’s  Jack Kerouac-Writer ]

Another Ginsberg letter today – this one to Allen (dated November 30, 1957 – sixty years ago today) from Jack Kerouac in Orlando, Florida to Allen in Paris.  Jack confesses he’s drunk, and broke, but writing up a storm (writing Dharma Bums) and looking toward the future.

Dear Allen.  Your poem [“Kaddish’] very beautiful, especially “eyes of Ma Rainey dying in an ambulance” (why don’t you spell it “aumbulance” which would mean aum-vehicle…)…well, and Greg’s [Gregory Corso’s]  “sweetly in … Read More

Allen and Louis and the Vietnam War – November 1965 Letter

A passionate letter today from 1965  (at the height of the Vietnam War), Allen, in San Francisco, on this day (November 29), writing to his father. The naivety, indeed myopia, on his father’s side exasperated Allen (the simplicity of the goad that he was a “Communist”  that the “Commies infiltrated and used guerilla tactics to ravage and despoil and murder countless peaceful S(outh) Vietnamese”, that somehow an evil manipulating Communist China was the true force behind things and that America, far from being an aggressor, was somehow welcomed there as “protector”.   “I’m not playing that game”, Allen declares .… Read More

William Blake’s Birthday

William Blake was born today, two hundred and sixty years ago, in London, England

We salute the great, inspired, poet, painter, visionary.

Here’s poet, scholar, literary maverick, Iain Sinclair, for the British Library, on an essential quality of the man – William Blake’s radicalism

[Blake’s image of Albion, accompanying the words Albion rose from where he labourd at the Mill with Slaves/Giving himself for the Nations hedanc’d thedance of Eternal Death]

and here’s Sinclair speaking of Blake’s spiritual visions

[The Ghost of A Flea – William Blake (c.1820)]

Allen Ginsberg and William Blake – we have covered the relationship … Read More