Ezra Pound – Cantos – LXXXI – 2

 

Allen Ginsberg’s commentary on Ezra Pound  continues

AG: …(H)e (Ezra Pound)’s in a cage.. he’s in a prison-camp cage in Italy at the end of World War II, when the Allies have over-run Italy and he’s been captured. And in order to save him from being killed by the pro-Communist partisans (since he had taken Mussolini‘s part in the war and stayed in Italy and made broadcasts), the Chief of American Counter-Intelligence, a man named James Angleton, who had a magazine named Furioso in Carleton College in 1939 with Reed Whittemore, contemporary poet, living … Read More

Hum Bom – (Bono & Juan Felipe Herrera)

Sadly Allen’s “Hum Bom!” is all too pertinent and prescient  ( “Whydja bomb?/We didn’t wanna bomb!/Whydja bomb?/We didn’t wanna bomb!”) – Lisa New, creator and host of Poetry in America, a new poetry intiative from Harvard, has just released  the video above.   – U2’s Bono reciting the poem and US poet-laureate Juan Felipe Herrera quoting and discussing it.  Bono is, of course, a long time fan of Allen’s – see here – and Herrera too (we would have loved to hear Herrera’s reading)  – but “Hum Bom!” is not an easy poem to read  (despite seeming … Read More

Allen Ginsberg on David Letterman Show, 1982

Allen’s late-night American tv appearances – We’ve already featured a previous one (from May 10, 1994 on the Conan O’Brien tv show) –  here’s another appearance, the previous decade, (from “Late Night With David Letterman” – this program was broadcast on June 10, 1982, on NBC)

Memorable is Letterman’s shocking confession that he hadn’t actually read On The Road !  Also, we vividly recall Allen taking up sixty valuable seconds of network time, with a discomforting (for Letterman and for NBC) on-air meditation  (Letterman getting increasingly antsy) – it seems that segment is missing from this version. Perhaps someone … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 309

The Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of The Beats As Taught by Allen Ginsberg is just out (this past Tuesday) from Penguin Books in England. Next Friday, Grove Press will publish the American edition.  Interesting to compare the covers perhaps – the more sober UK edition, the more brash, more jazzy American? – Either way, it’s another essential Ginsberg book.   Reviews are already highly positive:

Publisher’s Weekly – “A gold mine for anyone interested in beat literature . . . Ginsberg reads and thinks like a poet; interested in language and style, he abandons narrative to … Read More

Ezra Pound Cantos – LXXXI – 1

[Henry Lawes (1595-1662), English composer] – “Lawes and Jenkyns guard thy rest”

Allen Ginsberg, on Ezra Pound in The Cantos….

AG: Now, look what Ezra Pound did with this. [sic- continuing with metrics]  Could.. this is.. just like the other one that you went over with Stanley (Lombardo) last term – “drop drop drop drop” (Ben Jonson’s “slow, slow fresh Fount“) – it’s one of the great classic ear pieces. So, in The Pisan Cantos, referring to the progress of English poetry, (a page that I read last term, when we sort of…  prefatory to going … Read More

Trungpa Parinirvana

[Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939-1987) ]

Today marks the day of the 30th anniversary of the death (the parinirvana) of Allen’s great teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

There will be various celebrations, among them the Sadhana of Mahamudra Feast offered by the sangha at Shambhala, Boulder. 

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche wrote the Sadhana of Mahamudra in 1968 while staying in the cave of Taksang in Bhutan. The Sadhana of Mahamudra invokes the wrathful manifestation of Padmasambhava, called Dorje Trolö, to help us overcome obstacles and confusion in our time.

Here’s three images of Allen and Trungpa:

[Allen Ginsberg and Chogyam … Read More

Ben Jonson’s Metrics

[ “Or have tasted the bag ‘o the bee?”]

Allen Ginsberg’s Basic Poetics class from 1980 continues from here. Allen, at this time, and throughout his Naropa teaching time, was interested in instilling a basic regard for the rudiments of poetry – metrical analysis – quantitative meter (see, for example, here, here and here) – Such matters lose somewhat in simple unalloyed transcription (it is for this reason that an accompanying audio is provided – see here) – Also, Allen makes much use of the blackboard on this occasion (something, again, obviously, unreproducible in the following notes). … Read More

Anne Waldman’s Birthday

Anne Waldman. poet, activist, co-founder with Allen of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa Institute (now Naropa University) is seventy-two years old today. Happy Birthday, Anne!

Inveterate world-traveler, she’s currently in Mexico City at the moment (at Casa del Lago, the off-campus Cultural Center of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, for the 2017 Poesia En Voz Alta)

Later this month in New York (April 27) she will be celebrated at The Poetry Project at St Mark’s Church (another institution she helped to found – she was the former Artistic Director)  at a special … Read More

April 1st – April Fool – Holy Goof

[Allen Ginsberg, 1976. Photo: Robert Turney]

“Then there’s something I like to call Crazy Seriousness. Kerouac used the word “goof” a lot in a very positive way, as when he was describing the Three Stooges in Visions of Cody. He was talking about Neal Cassady, actually, saying how the free imagination he felt in himself was justified in the world outside and he had nothing therefore to reproach himself for…”

[Clark Coolidge on Jack Kerouac]  – in Disembodied Poetics – Annals of the Jack Kerouac School – edited by Anne Waldman and Andrew Schelling … Read More