Composition and Condensation – 2

AG: Then another thing formulated with Rachel today [sic] was, in terms of condensation, if you can find three or four different ways of saying, of arranging the same words, generally, the spoken arrangement that is the shortest has the best rhythm and is the most vivid. [To Rachel (sic)] – Do you happen to have that poem with you? that one poem where we really discovered it. You remember the line?

Student (R)…”There’s not enough time to..”

AG: What’s the next line? There’s not enough time

Student (R) …”There’s not enough time to write all the notes down”

AG: … Read More

Composition and Condensation – 1

[Basil Bunting tries his hand at editing Shakespeare]

AG:  And then there was another thing.. I was talking with…Rachel [sic]…with Rachel..and we were talking about composition and condensation of poems and ..some ideas crystallized that might be useful. I’ve talked about it before I thought but apparently I had never said it around Rachel (tho; I thought I said it in any number of..over a dozen classes) there was that idea of Basil Bunting‘s, which (Ezra) Pound handed on, which was that poetics was condensation – and I think I’ll talk about that – and I’ve applied it in … Read More

Objectivism at Michigan Poetry Conference , 1973

Our feature today – the extraordinary gathering on Objectivist poetics that took place in 1973 in Allendale Michigan and Allen’s participation in it. We are indebted to the labors (both with video and transcription) of Steel Wagstaff. His introduction to the occasion (on the poetry-site, Dispatches)  may be read here. Below is some transcription of Allen’s contribution (his engagement with Charles Reznikoff, Carl Rakosi, and George Oppen). For a complete transcript (provided by Wagstaff) – see here

[Seidman House, Grand Valley State College, Allendale, Michigan, 1973]

Charles Reznikoff: Oh I say., May I suggest, isn’t … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 329

Last week we reported on a poor quality tape from Stanford that illegally came out (and was dutifully squashed). This week we report on a high quality recording that was properly disseminated (included, alongside a brief notice, in Le Magazine Litteraire’s announcement of the Ginsberg digitalization).  The tape “Tape 3 Ginsberg 1994” is a raw record of Allen presenting some poems, in a studio setting, for future musical adaptation.  (We’re thinking that this is from the preparation for The Lion For Real album/CD, though we could be wrong, the Stanford date here is 1994, The Lion For Real recordings … Read More

Hart Crane’s Hurricane

[“After The Hurricane”  (I938)  Marsden Hartley (1877-1943)]

AG: If Shelley’s “Ode to The West Wind” brings the breath theme to the height of inspiration, or, you know, some great tempest of inspiration, this brings it up to a hurricane, in terms of the emotions, the imagery, and also the energy used to pronounce it and the meters used   (and, as I said, the kinds of meters used are the meters that are used, that were used, at the height of classical Greek tragedy, at the moment of revelation). So,  “The Hurricane”,  by Hart Crane written in 1927, one of … Read More

Peter Orlovsky Arrives Late For Class

[Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky. Photo: Herbert Rusche]

continuing from yesterday

AG: Aw! Come on!

Peter Orlovsky : I’m sweating. I had to go to Casey High – all over the place , I had a chair for you. I had to rush here because I thought you were..

AG: You went to Casey?

Peter Orlovsky: Yes, I went to Casey looking for you. I thought you were at Yeshe House!      I stopped off here before I thought of going to Yeshe House. You didn’t tell me the class was here. No one told me the class was here.   … Read More

Breath Poems

[Zephrus. God of the winds (detail from “The Birth of Venus,” Sandro Botticelli]

AG: .. ..(I cited some lines)  from Hart Crane’s poem “Hurricane” as an example of dochmaic meter… and the whole poem is really interesting, and it’s just in the sequence of poems I’ve been referring to, one time or another, like William Carlos Williams’ poem about Thursday  (air – coming in and out of his nose) , Shelley’s “Ode To the West Wind – (“Make me thy lyre even as the forest is’”… “Be thou me spirt fierce (the wind)”, or, “The breath whose might I have … Read More

George Herbert Selections

A little out-of-order this – but here’s Allen’s George Herbert selection – remember George Herbert?)  (and some concluding remarks to his (April 1980) Naropa class)

AG: Okay, so next, I would have… (George) Herbert (page 285), check out Mr Herbert, similar to Herrick, as interesting as Herrick, but it’s a little more laden with God there, but some very amazing emotions come through, particularly, “The Collar”‘ (check out “The Collar”, the form), Check out the form of “Easter Wings” on page 285 as a precursor of shaped poetry, of what do you call it nowadays?  the…Concrete…pardon me? – … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 328

[Allen Ginsberg among the boxes and archives at Stanford]

The treasure-trove that is the recently-digitalized Stanford archive is starting to unpack itself. Last week, Jay Barmann at the SFist, spotlighted a particularly choice gem (two gems, in fact) – Ginsberg and Bob Dylan, talking backstage, on December 11, 1965, in San Francisco, and then Dylan performing an entire concert with a band. “It comes”, he notes, “via Dylan fan and YouTuberist Keith Gubitz, who, simultaneously, has uploaded a second, similar recording, from December 12, 1965 in San Jose — the latter includes some chatter at the beginning between … Read More

Quit Speed – Allen Ginsberg’s 1967 Plea to Peter Orlovsky

August 10 – Fifty years ago today. Allen in London, writing to his beloved, Peter (Orlovsky) in New York City, warning him, pleading with him, about amphetamines (“meth”) – “I’d rather be with you than without you. Stop meth, cool everything, come over here”

Dear Peter,

Irving (Rosenthal) wrote and Barbara (Rubin) wrote, said you were on meth, then, thinking house was afire, window moldings bugged or electrified, etc, and had begun taking them out . I don’t know how far you are into that thought process, but I am worried about the house, my manuscripts, etc. I can’t … Read More