Allen’s pedagogical insistence on quantative prosody, on the minutae of classical prosody, was something he came back to again and again with his students at Naropa (see, for example – one of many examples – here). In transcription, it makes, perhaps, for some somewhat tedious transcript – to hear the subtle and various distinctions he’s making, it really becomes necessary to listen closely to the audio (happily, here available). Allen does employ here a somewhat unique teaching method to lighten things up – … Read More
AG: So it’s interesting to figure this [Edmund Waller’s “Song” – “Go, lovely rose”] out as sound. Now this is one of the most compelling cadences and compelling rhythms, compelling rhythms and cadences and musics in all of English poetic lyrics…lyric. And yet, it’s one of the most mysterious as far as the count. I guess you could count .. syllables probably – “Go, lovely rose” has four, “Tell her that’s young”, “Small is the worth”, “Then die—that she” – (apparently, all the first lines are four syllables) – “Tell her that wastes her time and me” – (Tell-her-that-wastes-her-time-and-me –
AG: So what have we got? The main thing, I guess, is ..to see if the effect.. the fact that it’s a song, and so the breath is real slow (actually, probably a slow-ish song to begin with – I would guess something like “Go lovely rose” (Allen attempts singing) or something like that – but “Da da-da” ..what is it? “Go, lovely rose” – Go, love-ly rose” “Go lovely rose” Go lovely rose” (Allen tries different melodies) …whatever.. There probably was music for this. “Tell her that wastes her time and me,” –
Continuing with our on-going feature of videos from the recently-digitalized Stanford Archives – today a tv appearance from 1985, on “New England Today” (on the occasion of the publication of Collected Poems 1947-1980)
Interviewer: My guest right now is Allen Ginsberg and he has written a number of poems and this is a big book if you like poetry, a big book of Collected Poems from 1947 to 1980, and, actually, this is your whole life in these poems, isn’t it Allen?
AG: Yes, everything I’ve written in poetry for thirty-three years, with profuse illustrations, numerous notes at the … Read More