Friday’s Weekly Round-Up -346

[Allen Ginsberg in the studio, recording William Blake’s “Songs of Innocence and Experience”]

Amanda Petrusich, writing in The New Yorker

“The membrane between poetry and“song,” as we think of it in 2017, has always been flimsy and permeable; once all poems were songs. Ginsberg’s weird, wobbly singing [in “The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience” CD] is sometimes dissonant, but it gets at something essential to Blake’s work. It’s as good a narration of the phases of a life as I can think of..”

Might we recommend, as a holiday gift, this holiday…?

The re-release of Allen’s William Blake … Read More

Sir John Suckling – 6 ( “The Deformed Mistress”)

[The Ugly Duchess – Quentin Matsys,  c. 1513, oil on wood 64.2 cm x 45.5 cm, National Gallery, London]

Allen’s notes on John Suckling continue and conclude

AG: And then the last…  then there are two other poems that are worth checking out – “The Deformed Mistress” ( this is written by the handsomest man of his age, and the richest) – “I know there are some fools…” – (it’s like there’s a line in (W.H.) Auden –  “Tell then of witty angels who/Come only to the beasts/ Of Heirs Apparent, who prefer/ Low dives to formal feasts;/For … Read More

Sir John Suckling – 5 (Suckling and Jonson)

[“Or hast thou viewed the peacock in his pride”]  

Then he [John Suckling]  also was quite a scholar and was interested in the same things we are in poetics so he did a little imitation of (Ben) Jonson’s poem on page two-sixty, the “Oh so white…” – remember that one that we went over so much. – from “The Triumph of Charis?

“Have you seen but a bright lily grow/Before rude hands have touched it/Have you marked but the fall of snow/Before the soil hath smutched it?/Have you felt the wool of beaver,/Or swan’s down ever?/Or have … Read More

Sir John Suckling – 4

[“Love is the fart/Of every heart” – Floral border to Le Livre des hystoires du Mirouer du monde, Paris 15th century]

AG: So on page three fifty-four. (more Suckling) – “Out upon it I have loved three whole days together” – “Out upon it, I have lov’d/Three whole days together;/And am like to love three more,/If it prove fair weather./ Time shall moult away his wings,/Ere he shall discover/In the whole wide world again/Such a constant lover./ But the spite on’t is, no praise/Is due at all to me;/Love with me had made no stays,/Had it any been but … Read More

Sir John Suckling – 3

[The Wedding Dance In A Barn – Pieter Brueghel the Younger c. 1616 – oil on oak panel 74 cms x 106 cms]

AG:  Well, he [John Suckling]’s got this “Ballad Upon A Wedding (page three hundred and fifty-one), which is a long poem, probably addressed to his friend, the poet (Richard) Lovelace, (who had an equally fantastical prettiness of body and extraordinary exquisite political career)

“I Tell Thee Dick” (Richard Lovelace) – page three fifty-one) – “I tell thee, Dick, where I have been/,Where I the rarest things have seen;/Oh, things without compare!/Such sights again cannot … Read More

USA Poetry – Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti, 1965

We’ve been featuring, these last few months, video from the Stanford University Archives (a number of intriguing videos of Allen reside there, though curiously, not this one – Allen and Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1965, from the ground-breaking WNET television series, USA Poetry, directed, as they all were, by the remarkable poet and filmmaker, Richard O Moore).

We’ll be featuring more from USA Poetry in the weeks ahead. But to start off with, Allen (filmed on two occasions, July 18 and December 14, 1965 – the broadcast went out the week of March 7 1966) .

The video begins with … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 345

[ Allen Ginsberg East Side High Paterson Yearbook Photo c.1940]

Matthew Powers loving memories of Allen were first published in 2002 in the premier issue of Heeb and were recently made available – here.

[Matthew Powers and Allen Ginsberg]

Powers, a gifted and extraordinary journalist, who died in Uganda in 2014, at the way-too-young age of only 39, is a figure who shouldn’t, and will not, be forgotten.

Another perceptive report on Allen in old age (in his latter years),  August Kleinzahler‘s “Lunching With Ginsberg” (from his book, Sallies, Romps, Portraits, and Send-Offs – Selected Prose 2000-2015), … Read More

Sir John Suckling – 2

[ John Suckling (1609-1641)]

continued from yesterday 

AG: So Suckling is one of those characters who was on the side of the King but he’s an extraordinary person. So, of all people, he needs a little biographical background to get something of the panache, lilt, flair, charm, Jimmy Dean-esque quality, of his little lyrics

“Beautiful and vigorous in body, educated in all the accomplishments that grace a gentleman, endowed from earliest youth with the prestige of a soldier and a popular courtier, his enormous wealth enabled him to indulge every whim that a fondness for what was splendid or … Read More

Sir John Suckling – 1

[John Suckling (1609-1641)]

Allen’s 1980 Naropa class on Basic Poetics continues

AG: Let’s start in the anthology with Sir John Suckling  (page three forty-nine),  with the poem called “Song”, which my father used to stomp around the house and recite when he was  teaching it in high school all the time  because it’s a charming poem, and, apparently, it was very popular among the lyric poets of the 1920s as a model example of all-time great top-ten lyric out of English history. And it fitted in with the tuneful cynicism of the ‘twenties, like (the) Floradora Sextette and the Flappers, Read More

Gershom Scholem

[Gershom Scholem (1897-1982)]

Gershom Scholem,  from  On Jews and Judaism in Crisis – Selected Essays

“The poet Allen Ginsberg once visited me. A likeable fellow. Genuine. Strange, mad, but genuine. I took a strong liking to him.My wife and I had a very interesting conversation with him, and in her inimitable way she asked him. “Why don’t you come to live here?” (I never ask anyone this question. People know whether and when it is time to come; that’s basic. If people want to come then it’s possible to talk to them about it. But I don’t have it in … Read More