Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 316

[Allen Ginsberg with Jon Sholle at the recording for Allen Ginsberg/William Blake – The Songs of Innocence and Experience]

Excited to have received early advance copies  of  Pat Thomas‘ remarkable follow-up to the The Last Word on First Blues  CD-set, (release-date isn’t until June 23) – the  two-CD re-packaging of the Blake songs – The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience.

For a previous announcement on that important and highly-anticipated project – see here

Did we mention, May 8th, Gary Snyder‘s recent 87th birthday – this?  (an extensive and illuminating interview in Lion’s Roar ) –  … Read More

George Herbert – 8 (“Love” – 1)

[Rembrandt Van Rijn, “The Supper at Emmaus”  (1648)]

AG: So, (George Herbert’s)  “Love Bade Me Welcome”

“Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back Guilty of dust and sin./But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack/ From my first entrance in,/Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning, If I lacked any thing.” – (that’s pretty good, actually, he’s gotten into Love (whatever it is) and he’s gone slack, or he’s lost his.. lost the hardness of his impulse!)- “observing me grow slack/ From my first entrance in” – (for a divine poem, this is pretty raunchy, actually -except, it’s so … Read More

W.B.Yeats’ Crazy Jane

AG: (George Herbert’s) “Love” next – “Love – 3” . I thought maybe, in some of his most amazing .. It’s a little bit like the famous “Crazy Jane” poem by William Butler Yeats?, you know? ( I think I recited it in the last class) – “I met the bishop on the road” – Does everybody know that? – Anybody not know “I met the Bishop on the road”.. ? –

{Allen reads the poem in its entirety]

I met the Bishop on the road And much said he and I. `Those breasts are flat and fallen now … Read More

George Herbert -7 (“Death” – 2)

Allen Ginsberg and his Naropa students continue their discussion about George Herbert’s metaphysical poem, “Death”

Student; I love the reasoning (in the poem)….

AG: Well, it’s not so much reasoning. It’s just making up, you know, some funny ideas about death

Student: (Yeah, I know – (our close) relationship to death)

AG ; Yeah, well, it’s going to get worse before we’re out of the thicket. It seems to accompany the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, the mills of thought begin grinding. This is.. what? Sixteen thirty-nine? . It’s the beginning, they’re exploiting America, you know, their bringing all … Read More

Happy Birthday Wavy Gravy

[ Wavy Gravy (Hugh Romney) – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg –  Ginsberg caption – “Wavy Gravy & his rubber nose, giant Seva Benefit organized by Ram Dass at Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, Manhattan November 26,1988, seven thousand soul attending, Wavy the M.C. for part of the evening, here in a side chapel south of the altar.” November 26, 1988″]

We missed out on noting his eightieth last year but Wavy Gravy (Hugh Romney), legendary counter-culture clown turns eighty-one today.

Here’s Dave Lawrence’s recent interview with Wavy on Hawaii Public Radio’s All Things Considered

Here’s Richard Whittaker’s 2010 interviewRead More

Studs Terkel interviews Allen Ginsberg, 1976 – part two

Allen Ginsberg and Studs Terkel continuing from here

[At approximately half-way through their conversation, approximately thirty-two minutes in, Allen sings “Gospel Noble Truths” (“Born in this world, you’ve got to suffer..”) making several improvised additions –  (“no permanent soul!”,  “the dharma chakra”,  “Look what you’ve done – 1968” – “Let go, Studs!”)

AG: You looked like you didn’t want to “let go” of  “earth heaven and hell” there!.

ST: And as Ned Kelly, the bandit, said, before they hanged him, and they sprang the trap –  “That’s life! “. You said,  “Die when you die”. I was about to … Read More

Studs Terkel Interviews Allen Ginsberg, 1976 – part one

[Studs Terkel (1912-2008)]

We’ve already featured the classic 1959 Studs Terkel  WFMT radio interview with Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso in seven sections – here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

We also featured Allen and Philip Glass on Studs Terkel’s show in 1990 – here and here

We’ll be featuring, in the coming weeks, a third, a 1975 session with Allen and William Burroughs

but, first, this weekend, this, (courtesy George Drury and the remarkable trove which is the Studs Terkel Radio Archive) – Allen Ginsberg’s interview … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 315

[Allen Ginsberg teaching at Naropa Institute – Photograph  Steve Silberman]

From Steve Silberman‘s review of the new Allen Ginsberg book, Bill Morgans selection of Allen’s lectures, Best Minds of My Generationwhich appeared last weekend in the San Francisco Chronicle:  

“Scholarly, wide-ranging and full of penetrating insight and fascinating literary gossip, the book is a major contribution to the core Beat canon, and provides an astonishingly intimate view of a homegrown American literary movement that would have a generative influence worldwide, inspiring generations of writers, visual artists, filmmakers, musicians and political activists across the globe..”… Read More

George Herbert – 6 – (“Death” – 1)

Allen Ginsberg on George Herbert continues

AG: However, when you get to “Death” on the next page. There. you get something almost Shakespearean. It’s so good, as far as its… And here what he’s done is got a stanza form which is – “Death thou wast once an un-couth hid-eous thing” – (ten) – “Nothing but bones” – (four) – “The sad effect of sadder groans” – (eight) – “Thy mouth was open, but thou couldst not sing” – (ten) . So each stanza’s ten-four-eight-ten, in terms of the number of syllables. I haven’t analyzed it for what actual meter … Read More

George Herbert – 5 (Discipline)

[“Throw away thy rod/Throw away thy wrath..”]

Allen Ginsberg on George Herbert continues 

AG: So, (his poem), Discipline, (page two-ninety-eight) –  Let’s see.. Yeah, here’s another, where he wrote..  where the short line is in the third – (rod/wrath/God/path, desire/bent/aspire/consent) – “(The) Discipline” – “Throw away thy rod,/ Throw away thy wrath: /O my God,/Take the gentle path./ For my heart’s desire/ Unto thine is bent:/  I aspire/ To a full consent./ Not a word or look/ I affect to own,/ But by book,/ And thy book alone…” – There’s such an interesting cadence there, an interesting way to..constructing … Read More