Edmund Waller’s “Song” – 1

Go, lovely rose!
Tell her that wastes her time and me,
That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.
Tell her that’s young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,
That hadst thou sprung
In deserts where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.
Small is the worth
Of beauty from the light retired:
Bid her come forth,
Suffer herself to be desired,
And not blush so to be admired.
Then die—that she
The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee;
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Allen Ginsberg 1985 “New England Today” Interview

Continuing with our on-going feature of videos from the recently-digitalized Stanford Archives – today a tv appearance from 1985, on “New England Today” (on the occasion of the publication of Collected Poems 1947-1980)  

Interviewer: My guest right now is Allen Ginsberg and he has written a number of poems and this is a big book if you like poetry, a big book of Collected Poems from 1947 to 1980, and, actually, this is your whole life in these poems, isn’t it Allen?

AG: Yes, everything I’ve written in poetry for thirty-three years, with profuse illustrations, numerous notes at the … Read More

A Brief Anthology of English Lyric

Allen at Naropa on “Basic Poetics” continuing from here
AG: So we’ll go back to Edmund Waller or do a bit more of (John) Milton. But I would like to get to Edmund Waller for a while, for a brief while. Is that alright? Is that… “Go, lovely rose”  (on page three-oh-five). And I’ll read that, and see how it works. I think of all the little lyrics we’ve gone over, this was the one like “Ask Me No More..” and “scepter and crown” (“Ask me no more..” was Carew)  – “Scepter and crown/Must crumble down/ And … Read More

More Observations on Ezra Pound

Ezra Pound died 45 years ago today in Venice, Italy. He is buried  in the Cimitero di San Michele (along with other twentieth-century icons – Sergei Diaghilev, Igor Stravinsky..)

Allen, from his recollection, of a conversation, in the restaurant of the Pensione Cici in Venice, some five years earlier:

“The intention was bad – that’s the trouble – anything I’ve done has been an accident – any good has been spoiled by my intentions – the preoccupation with irrelevant and stupid things -” Pound said this quietly, rusty voiced like an old child, looked directly in my … Read More

Ezra Pound’s Birthday

October 30, the anniversary of the birthday of the forever-controversial, impossible-to-dispense-with Ezra Pound. There’s a new book coming out (it appeared in the UK earlier this year), focusing on Pound’s long post-World War II incarceration at St Elizabeth’s  – Daniel Swift’s The Bughouse – The Poetry, Politics and Madness of Ezra Pound.

Typically, it has elicited some “mixed” reviews.  Robert McCrum in The Guardian found it “enthralling”  but “sometimes awkward”,  (noting Swift’s “idiosyncratic biographical analysis that marries lit crit and memoir”)  Mark Ford, in the same newspaper, was more damning -(“Pound’s arraignment for treason and spell in a psychiatric hospital … Read More

Allen Ginsberg – Ecologue & Interview with Allen DeLoach

Another from the trove of Stanford video recordings. This time Allen in Buffalo (Buffalo State, circa 1971), reading and being interviewed by Allen DeLoach – see here

The video is introduced as follows:

“Allen Ginsberg may be this planet’s most renowned poet . Considered by many of his contemporaries to be one of the most important poets of his generation. His poem “Howl” is probably as important a literary documentation of his generation’s spiritual condition as “The Waste Land” was for the previous generation. His major writing has been influenced by Biblical writing, by William Blake, Walt Whitman, Christopher Smart… Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 339

[Allen Ginsberg, photographed by  Kiyohide Hori]

Never did get around to mentioning Kiyohide Hori’s photo-show of Allen and of the Howl manuscript that took place (sadly now it’s down) in Japan this past summer

More Japanese news… “the Allen Ginsberg-inspired capsule”? – Some fervid debate in the “Comments” section here – “This is everything Allen Ginsberg stood against. These guys obviously know nothing about Allen Ginsberg or what he was all about. The poor guy must be turning in his grave” – (which elicits the response: “Please enlighten us. He was against materialism, which could be related … Read More

Ginsberg Reads Milton – 2

[William Blake – Satan Watching The Endearments of Adam and Eve (1808)]

Continuing from yesterday, 1980 audio recording of Allen Ginsberg reading from Book Nine of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost.”

AG: What I like is the sound of it. I’m imitating the sound of this in “Plutonian Ode”, that whole trick of name-dropping – Pluto and Demeter and..

where we are.. what line are we on? -“maugre” – meager – despite of – what is maugre? – “despite of” – yeah (Allen continues the reading here the poem)

“By night he fled, and at midnight returned/From compassing the … Read More

Ginsberg Reads Milton – 1

We have already featured Allen Ginsberg reading the opening of Paradise Lost. Here, continuing in his 1980 Naropa “Basic Poetics’ class, he recites (and passingly annotates) long sections of Book Nine of the poem

The audio begins here, approximately fifty-seven and-three-quarter minutes in

AG: So it  (Book Nine of Paradise Lost)  begins:

“No more of talk where God or Angel guest/With Man, as with his friend, familiar us’d, To sit indulgent, and with him partake/Rural repast; permitting him the while/Venial discourse unblam’d. I now must change/Those notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach Disloyal on the part of … Read More

Allen Ginsberg and Tom Schwartz on John Milton – 7

[Charles Grignon after Francis Hayman, (1749) illustration to Book IX of John Milton’s Paradise Lost]

AG: So, the question is, what are we going to do with this big clunky Paradise Lost. I’d like to read a page and then turn it over to someone else to read some more. But, oratory, as oratory – “The Argument” – will somebody read “The Argument” here of Book 9. (The “Argument” here means, “this is the plot”..So,  page three-twenty-seven. The reason I’d like to begin.. to read the beginning pages at least is, he does take up, again, the subject of … Read More