Henry King – 1 (“Like to the falling of a star”)

AG:  So there’s another poem that I handed out – Sic Vita by Henry King  (which I think is the most poem.. most perfect of that (transience poetry), but it also has a very great rhythm, very great cadence, that comes out of the logic of the presentation of the idea.

“Like to the falling of a star,/ Or as the flights of eagles are,/ Or like the fresh spring’s gaudy hue,/ Or silver drops of morning dew,/ Or like a wind that chafes the flood,.” –  ( you know, “chafes the flood”? – ruffles the surface of … Read More

Edmund Bolton’s Palinode

[“As vanisheth the light-blown bubble ever…..’]

AG: We’re way off the subject. ..which was.. there was a really great poem I wanted to lay out, which I put out,  by Henry King, (which is like the “Palinode“.) – We’ll get back to this (the “Palinode”) –  I mean, has anybody got some heavy thing that they want to continue it on?

Edmund Bolton’s “Palinode” (on page two-seventy), which sets forth a great theme that recurs through all English poetry and also a great logical way of handling the theme – and I   would like it because it’s … Read More

Ginsberg and China – 2 (Zhang Ziqing Questionnaire)

Continuing from yesterday

Chinese scholar and poet Zhang Ziqing was in correspondence with Allen in 1990 regarding his knowledge and experience of Chinese poetry.  He sent on a questionnaire. Allen wrote back that he would be happy to answer it but needed to know “whether the questions refer to classical, XXth century, or Contemporary, Chinese literature & Poetry” “And also, is Tibetan poetry & Buddhist.. literature to be counted in as Chinese?”

There followed a letter to the Professor in which Allen details a number of influences  and significant texts (both Chinese and  Tibetan) . Allen’s handwriting (always unique, and … Read More

Ginsberg and China

[Allen Ginsberg, Yangtze River Gorge, China, 1984]

 [Allen Ginsberg: Selected Poems –1947-1997, (Chinese translation by Wen Chu-An)  (2000)]

Allen Ginsberg in China is our focus this weekend.

Allen and China – great news! -.a new (first-time!) edition of his Collected Poems is due out very soon in that country  (hopefully in November)  – translated and edited by the young Ming Hui and published by  Shanghai ’99.…..

There’s, a little Chinese background.

From our friend Jim Cohn‘s estimable web-site, The Museum of American Poetics: “In 1982, Allen Ginsberg was a member of a U.S. Writers’ Delegation that hosted … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 332

[Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg, and John Ashbery – (Photographer Unknown)]

“….exquisite mind cartoons that could be heard with eyes closed, the voice perfectly ordinary with the slight edge of extravagant conversational camp, a mind artifice not unnatural to hypnagogic revery, deceptive, till you hear the chasm landscapes and awkward universes created and contradicted in vast gas-deposit shocking trivial universal mind.”

Allen Ginsberg – from an introduction to a reading by John Ashbery, at Naropa Institute, 1975.

Hear Ashbery’s reading (along with W.S.Merwin) on that occasion here

John Ashbery’s passing last weekend continues to send shockwaves.

A selection of … Read More

Reassembling Perception

[Pablo Picasso. Skull and Leeks 1945]

AG: So you assemble, you reassemble, all these objects and you get the sensation that you had at the time. So it’s almost like a precise science.. won’t you believe it?

Student: Well, it seems like you’re taking a real classical approach that these things that come in on you can be.. can all be put in an organized sentence, in an elegant way.

AG: Okay

Student: But after…   I mean, don’t you think a..  I mean, a McLuhan-esque term, “the mosaic thinking”,  that just sometimes just lists of images would  be more accurate … Read More

Kerouac’s Idea of Visions

[Visions of Gerard (1963) – Jack Kerouac]

AG: [referring to an earlier Student poem]   …the silence of dusk.. and.. the lights going on in the courtyard. See, it was the signal of the lights going on in the courtyard that made.. that locked it in that it was dusk.  That’s why it’s pink light, that’s why these people were doing what they were doing (and then it was because the sun was going down,. the wind rising, and the steel cord was flapping against the flagpole).  This is, you see,  the uncanny suggestion, of, like, the whole atmosphere of … Read More

Williams, The Haiku, and the Natural Sequence

[William Carlos Williams – Collected Poems – published by The Objectivist Press. 1934, Williams’ first “collected”  edition]

continuing from yesterday

AG: So, now , the reason I was coming on to all of this was that the short form of the haiku or the long form of the (William Carlos) Williams sentence all say the same thing, which is – if you try to weave a series of discrete haiku-like perceptions in (Jack) Kerouac -ian-sketchy-sketch style, if you try to weave them in to one single continuous cadence of breath and a single continuous syntactical order, you’ll have … Read More

More Haiku Thinking

“Old pond/Frog jumps/kerplunk!”

continuing from AG’s 1980 Naropa class – see here

AG  It’s [Trungpa Rinopoche’s tri-partite philosophy of the haiku] real interesting.  It got me onto noticing what was wrong with a lot of my haiku(s), and so I found that most of my haiku(s) just had, you know, a flash, and then some location or picture. or comment, or flash and recognition, but no zappy comment, that zapped the whole thing out, that made it, So, in other words, haiku, three short parts. Does that make sense?

Student: Yeah, It’s interesting to think of a … Read More

Allen Ginsberg in Austin, 1980

An interesting little bit of footage appeared this past summer on You Tube – Allen Ginsberg in 1980, performing at Austin Community College, Texas (at the College’s Rio Grande Campus downtown).  (We’ve already presented raw archival footage of Allen in Austin – here – but this is very different.) The context?  – “When We Were Live” , a feature-length documentary about the pioneers of Public Access Television in the 80’s and 90’s. The film focuses on five D-I-Y producers from Austin, (the largest and longest running public access station in the nation). Allen performs two pieces, “Punk Rock Read More