Allen Ginsberg Reading at The Intersection, San Francisco, 1971

[Allen Ginsberg, 1971]

Another archived reading today (courtesy the irreplaceable PennSounds) – Allen Ginsberg reading at The Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco in 1971

AG: I’ll begin. Most of what I’ll read tonight is poetry from the last twelve months (sic), but I want to begin, prefatory, by a poem written in 1949, part of a book called Gates of Wrath, which will be published by Four Seasons Press, “Stanzas Written at Night in Radio City”      (“If money made the mind more sane…”…”Man runs after his own shadow”) – “Gary Snyder Reading Poesy Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 326

John Ashbery

Today’s a grand day for American poetry, John Ashbery‘s 90th birthday! – Happy Birthday, John!

There’s a new biography (the first, actually) just out from FSG on John’s early life – The Songs We Know Best: John Ashbery’s Early Life, by Karin Roffman (taking it up to his departure for France in the mid ‘Fifties and the publication of his first major book, Some Trees),  (she’s currently at work on a full biography)

Mark Ford’s review in The Guardian may be read hereEvan Kindley’s review in The New Republic may be read hereRead More

Robert Herrick – “To The Virgins To Make Much of Time”

Three Graces – (detail from The Primavera (or The Allegory of Spring)) by Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), in the collection of the Uffizi Gallery, Florence

AG: So therefore the next poem [to Student] – you want to read that please? – Gather.. To The Virgins! – “To The Virgins, To Make Much of Time

Student: “To The Virgins, To Make Much of Time”

AG: How many people have read this poem before? – only five? six? – okay, half the class. This is the poem in the English language that everybody knows as the lightest, brightest, sweetest, nicest … Read More

“Corinna’s Going A-Maying” – continued

[“Come, let us goe, while we are in our prime;/ And take the harmlesse follie of the time….”]

Student (reading Robert Herrick): “There’s not a budding Boy, or Girle, this day,/But is got up, and gone to bring in May..”.

AG; I like that line – “There’s not a budding Boy, or Girle, this day,/ But is got up, and gone to bring in May” – It’s so.. healthy. It’s such a healthy idea, I mean, such a sweet, nice poem

Student: (continues)  “A deale of Youth, ere this, is come/ Back, and with White-thorn laden home./Some have dispatcht … Read More

Robert Herrick – (Corinna’s Going A-Maying)

[Village Scene With Dance Around the Maypole – Pieter Bruegel, the Elder  (1634)]

AG: And “Corinna’s Gone A-Maying” (page two seventy-five) – It’s real pretty for.. as a Mayday thing. It’s a beautiful poem and I don’t want to go through it but..like the Shakespeare poem (of Ben Jonson) I think you ought to read it

Student: She’s Going-A-Maying

AG: What?

Student; Going-A-Maying

AG: Gone-A-Maying. She’s going out maying, she’s going out to… well, he describes it – getting up in the morning and going out and getting the dew on her hair and gathering hawthorne, white hawthorne, to … Read More

Herrick continues (Delight in Disorder)

[Portrait of Louise de Keroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth and the King’s Mistress by Sir Peter Lely -c. 1671 – oil on canvas – 125.1 × 101.6 cm – collectionof the J. Paul Getty Museum]

AG: “Delight in Disorder” is a very famous poem (on page two seven four). I think underneath there’s a little S & M shot there.

“A sweet disorder in the dress/Kindles in clothes a wantonness:—/A lawn about the shoulders thrown/Into a fine distrac-ti-ón,”— (he wants that eight syllables, this is eight syllables – because the only way he’s going to make that “distraction”, he … Read More

Buddhism and The Beats (Ginsberg 1993 – Q & A)

Following on from last week’s “Buddhists and The Beats” video -the Q & A, the final segment.

Do we have time for questions.?

AG: Yes, sure

Q: You said that your poetry is a practice as well, so..is it..do you meditate every day? do you use poetry as a practice?

AG: It’s a form of practice. I sit now about forty minutes to an hour every day. There have been long periods where I’ve sat for an hour, two hours, every day, and there have been long periods where I have been on retreats where I would sit all day, … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 325

Allen Ginsberg in the Archives at Stanford University

Today big news to report, Stanford University have finally completed a monumental task – the audio/video elements that were reformatted from the Ginsberg papers are now available as streaming media through their catalog. We’ll be focusing more on this in the weeks ahead. Meanwhile to access the Ginsberg catalog immediately – see here

(and read Stanford’s announcement of this, indeed,  major “cause for celebration” – here)

Today, please be aware,  is Hart Crane‘s birthday (born 1899. died off the Gulf of Mexico).

Allen to his Naropa students (in 1978):  “Does … Read More

More Metrics

[The Foot]

[Human Spine Anatomy]

AG: .Well, the feet would be the… well, basically, the number of stresses in a line would be the number of feet, basically, number of stresses, as distinct from syllables. And a foot would be a varied kind of feet (da-da, da-da, da-da, da-da) – Tyger, Tyger ( da-da, da-da – da-da da) – So there’s four feet in “Tyger, Tyger burning bright” (that’s four feet -right?) – I think the Greek word is “metron” maybe for measure..I don’t know, I’ll have to check that out – hard to find a Greek nomenclature … Read More

July 19 (Mayakovsky’s Birthday)

[Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930)]

Today, July 19, the great poet, Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky, was born in Baghdati, Georgia. We’ve featured Mayakovsky numerous times here on the Allen Ginsberg Project. For example, here and here.

The fourteen-part series, Allen’s 1981 focus (with in-class presentation by Ann Charters)  begins here, and continues  here, here and here  (Expansive Poetry) .

Further posts  here (Akhmatova and Mayakovsky), here (Mayakovsky on Esenin), here (Mayakovsky and Mandelstam), here (“The Bedbug”), here (“At The Top of My Voice“), here (Mayakovsky and the Revolution), here (Mayakovsky and … Read More