[ Portrait of John Milton – (circa 1803) – by William Blake]
Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 Basic Poetics class (at Naropa) – continuing from here
AG: So, the next experiment I did (was) with Miltonics – Milton. This is my Miltonics. It was pretty sick Miltonics. Because what it is, is a total – 1949 -it’s a.. I think I was either coming or.. going to-and-fro from.. Bedlam – New York State Psychiatric Institute, and I was convinced that there was a supernatural consciousness that I had to achieve and I was not achieving it, and that I wouldn’t achieve … Read More
Today (time-stamped -out-takes from a longer reel), two pieces, beginning with a mantra (chant) om sri maitreya (“anyone who knows it, chant”, proposes Allen) , followed by, (at 01-48-18-00, approximately six-and-a-half minutes in), a spirited recitation of “Wales Visitation” – (“written first … Read More
AG: Then next.. However, one thing I would point out. You can get equally perfect lyric matter (just like this stuff in the seventeenth and sixteenth century) out of William Butler Yeats‘ poems, particularly his later poems, so he’s really worth studying, Because he’s the only twentieth-cenury poet I know who has an ear equal to Marvell or.. myself..or those guys,King,Shirley...rare. It was rare to find a poet who was writing in rhyme in the twentieth-century that’s really got a good ear. You’ve got a lot of dead dead … Read More
[The Destruction Of Sodom And Gomorrah, (1852), By John Martin]
AG: Then I tried some combination… then Shakespeare , then I tried a Shakespeare sonnet (again, the same year (1948). The occasion was reading the entire manuscript of Kerouac’s The Town and The City, and because it was so monumental and poderoso, powerful I thought, and the prose was so grand, at the end, toward the end, it got towards Thomas Wolfe-ian, Herman Melville–ian prose, that I realized that we must be on the train to some vast destiny, that all our day-dreamy arty.. walkings-under-the-Brooklyn-Bridge-in-the-moonlight … Read More
[“Over the road in an automobile/Rode I and my gentle love’]
AG: So then there was..an imitation of Herbert’s “Collar” – from George Herbert – Herbert – “Collar” is.. (page) two ninety-four –and three hundred – “Love bade me welcome… ” Now, in “The Collar”, you get… (two ninety-four, two ninety-five) – Remember at the end, he says “But as I raved and grew more fierce and wild/ At every word,/ Methought I heard one calling, Child! /And I replied My Lord.” ? You remember that poem? Everybody? Most of you remember that? Because that was, you remember, a poignant … Read More
[Neal Cassady, New York City, ca 1946, “in his first suit, bought in Chinatown” photobooth shot, courtesy Allen Ginsberg Collection]
AG: (Where’s (Andrew) Marvell’s “..Garden”? We”ll take a look at it here [and also at Allen’s “A Lover’s Garden”] …Is this alright what I’m doing?.. I don’t that often teach my own poetry.. (but) this is the first time (that) I’ve got into this. “How vainly men themselves amaze/To win the palm, or oak, or bays” ? What is that? – one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight – so I had an eight-line stanza – “amaze/bays”, “see/tree”, “shade/upbraid”, … Read More
[Allen Ginsberg in Jerusalem, 1988, praying by the Western Wall. Photograph by Steven Taylor]
Allen Ginsberg in Israel.
This interview with Elazar Larry Freifeld was conducted at Tel Aviv University in 1988, and published in Moznaim (in Hebrew). It appeared a year later (In English) in The Tel Aviv Review, and most recently in the Jerusalism Review.
LF: Welcome to Israel, Allen. You come at a very troublesome time [civil war in Lebanon].
AG: Ah, it’s the same all over the world. Everyone has their own tsurus [“trouble”, in Yiddish]. In Nicaragua, the CIA is fomenting trouble, in Columbia … Read More