Abraham Cowley – (“The Wish”)

 
[Abraham Cowley (1618-1667)]
AG:  Now, next we get to (Abraham)  Cowley , below, (page) three-sixty,  And the reason Cowley gets interesting is , finally, for the first time, the horrific City. enters in (as it will get increasingly, prophetically, apparent entering into the poetry.. (William) Blake will, pretty soon, (be) talking about.the opening (of the) streets of London and the “satanic mills”, and it’ll go on to the twentieth-century with “Moloch whose cities are…”  ” filled up with plutonian factories drizzling in the toilet!”) –  So here in “The Wish”, the vision the horror in the city,
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Richard Crashaw – 3 (“To His (Supposed) Mistress”)

[“glist’ring shoe-ty..” ?  – Dorothy’s “ruby slippers” from The Wizard of Oz]
Allen Ginsberg on Richard Crashaw continuing from here
 
AG: Then he (Crashaw) also has another poem that has a very pretty triplet thing,It’s rare in English to find three lines (one short, one longer, and then one longest, with the same rhyme -“be/she/me”, “lie/eye/destiny”, “birth/ forth/earth”)
 
So I’ll just read two or three stanzas of it because I don’t want to hang on to it too long (because you don’t have the text) – “Wishes To His (Supposed) Mistress
 
Who e’er she be/That
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The Night Before Christmas

Suitably seasonal – Bob Dylan reads “A Visit From St. Nicholas”  (“The Night Before Christmas”), a poem first published, anonymously, in 1823, and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who claimed authorship in 1837. (Some commentators now believe that the poem was actually  written by one Henry Livingston Jr.).

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…”

[from Mad magazine’s (Jan 1960 parody – New Mad “Hip” Version -“‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the pad/Not a hipster was stirring not even old Dad..”… Read More

Kerouac’s Christmas

Jack Kerouac‘s Christmas memories. The following is an excerpt from a piece he wrote, in December 1961, for Glamour magazine, a prose sketch entitled “Home at Christmas”. Snow-bound Pawtucketville days, the Lowell of his childhood. The piece subsequently appeared in Good Blonde & Others, a posthumous collection, a miscellany of his writing, put out by Don Allen’s Grey Fox Press in 1993.

It also appeared, alongside this piece here, as part of a limited edition, Jack Kerouac – Two Christmas Stories, published by Red Car Press in Coventy, England, that same year.

(it had also appeared in 1973, … Read More

A List of List Poems

AG:  But by this anaphoric rapture, or anaphoric repetition, it {Crashaw’s poem “The Flaming  Heart”] actually builds up to rapture. So this is what Anne Waldman calls a list poem”, actually, an early list poem. I taught a little poetry workshop this weekend and checked out list poems and the samples I used were (the) thirteenth and twenty-eighth chapters of Ecclesiastes (because there is “..or the golden bowl be broken”), and then I read Christopher Smart, I used “Like to the flaming of a star.”,  the little.. – I used that as a list
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Richard Crashaw – 2 (Saint Teresa)

 
[Gian Lorenzo Bernini – St Teresa in Ecstasy (detail) ) c.1647-52]
AG: But better than those, there’s one other poem to Saint Teresa, which begins, idiotically, with the image that her heart was so hot that the angels would be set fire by it, rather than the angels setting fire to her heart, or something like that.. Saint Teresa – “(The Flaming Heart) Upon The Book and Picture of (the seraphical) Saint Teresa (As she is usually expressed with Seraphim beside her)” –  So the whole poem is not worth our time now, we’re limited, but the end … Read More

Richard Crashaw

AG: Then we have now Richard Crashaw,  page three-five-six- There’s a funny Shakespearean line in that middle poem, “To The Infant Martyrs”.  Has anybody read that already? Anybody read on through Crashaw at all? (because somebody could read “”To The Infant Martyrs” – whoever starts reading could read it
Student -[reads] – “Go, smiling souls, your new-built cages break,/ In heaven you’ll learn to sing, ere here to speak,/ Nor let the milky fonts that bathe your thirst/Be your delay; /The place that calls you hence is, at the worst,/ Milk all the way.”
AG: … Read More

Anne Bradstreet

[Anne Bradstreet ( 1612-1672)]

Allen continues his 1980 Naropa lectures on Bssic Poetics – continuing from here 

AG: Now, naturally, while this is going on, there are all these heavy-handed people chomping and killing the Indians in America, in the name of God! – So, there’s a first..there’s a first gleam, coming over from America  in the middle of the English wit and chaos, there’s Anne Bradstreet, Jones Very (another great poet), Edward Taylor   (I don’t think Jones Very and Edward Taylor are here (in our anthology) but there’s a lady, Anne Bradstreet, the first American woman poet (pre-feminist … Read More

WCW on WNET continued

USA Poetry – William Carlos Williams –  transcript continues  (see here)

[note –  on occasion some

from the Letters of William Carlos Williams

To Kay Boyle (1932)

“Dear Kay Boyle….. There is no workable poetic form extant among us today..Joyce and Stein have..gone out of their way to draw down the attention on words so that the line has become pulverous instead of metallic – or at least ductile…For myself I have written very little poetry recently. Form, the form has been lacking. Instead I have been watching speech in my own environment from which I continually expect … Read More