Allen Ginsberg, Steven Taylor, Peter Orlovsky and Tom Pickard reading at Warwick University, November, 1979 continues from here
AG: Steven Taylor, please favor us with a song (Steven Taylor being a poet as well as being a musician)
ST: I’m going to sing a song that I wrote after first reading the poetry of Anna Akhmatova, the Russian woman poet who was banned by (Joseph) Stalin’s government in 1929 and was not published after that time. She identified with the wife of Lot in the Bible, who was turned … Read More
I was just reading over the statements on the poster (sic). I’m primarily concerned with survival, the question of Nova Conspiracies, the new mythologies possible in the space age, heroes and villains with regard to intentions towards this planet, and I realize that this is a very political statement, Now if we see the earth as a spaceship and go further to invoke the comparison of a lifeboat, it is of … Read More
[Hieronymus Bosch (c.1450-1516) – detail from The Falling of the Damned into Hell (1482)]
AG: I don’t know. Let’s see.. The one with the..Well, it’s much later, Sonnet 147, when “Hell” (the image of the cunt, incidentally, in the Shakespeare Sonnets) spurts fire (which is the infection). There’s a whole bunch of stuff in here that’s alluded to and some scholars get with. And in this edition, it’s in the footnotes, actually.
Student: Which edition?
AG: This is a Signet edition.The Sonnet 147 (look it up, you don’t have it, I don’t think) – Sonnet 147 does … Read More
They that have power to hurt and will do none,
That do not do the thing they most do show,
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow;
They rightly do inherit heaven’s graces
And husband nature’s riches from expense;
They are the lords and owners of their faces,
Others but stewards of their excellence.
The summer’s flower is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself it only live and die,
But if that flower with base infection meet,
The basest weed out-braves his dignity;
For sweetest things turn … Read More
AG: And (Jack) Kerouac’s favorite (Shakesperean Sonnet) was Sonnet 73 (page 215) which is the same thought but even more beautifully and more mellowly expressed, as an appeal, actually an appeal to his boyfriend that “You’d better… Let’s make it now. We ain’t got much more time. We can only have it now and if we delay and if we confuse the matter, that time is going to pass and the possibility of the bliss that we might have had on earth is going to go by. So we’d better do it.” , or “You’d better..better listen to me” … Read More
When I have seen by Time’s fell hand defac’d
The rich-proud cost of outworn buried age;
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed
And brass eternal, slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the wat’ry main,
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store;
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded to decay;
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate —
That Time will come and take my love … Read More
AG I’ll begin with a recent song, similar to what we started with, in the sense that it has a rest in it, like “Lie Down you lie Down”. Actually I was thinking, while writing this thing, of Thomas Campion in his measure of vowels and the rests, where he breaks time, like dancers
[Beginning at approximately forty-two-and-a-half minutes in (with harmonium accompaniment and with an extended sequence of nonsense syllables – baddadum-bom-ba – and … Read More
The Best Minds of My Generation– Very pleased to announce a new Allen Ginsberg publication (due out in April) from Grove Press – “A Literary History of the Beats” – (“A unique and compelling history of the Beats, in the words of the movements most central member, Allen Ginsberg, based on a seminal series of his lectures”), edited, (as judiciously and informatively as ever), by Beat scholar, and our good friend, Bill Morgan
That God forbid, that made me first your slave,
I should in thought control your times of pleasure,
Or at your hand th’ account of hours to crave,
Being your vassal, bound to stay your leisure!
O, let me suffer (being at your beck),
Th’ imprison’d absence of your liberty;
And patience, tame to sufferance, bide each check,
Without accusing you of injury.
Be where you list, your charter is so strong
That you yourself may privilege your time
To what you will; to you it doth belong
Yourself to pardon of … Read More
Allen Ginsberg on Shakespeare’s Sonnets continued.
AG: Then, a very poignant one that …number 64…well, no, no, no, number 57 (which you don’t have), where he really gets so pushed in the love affair that he gets into a sort of sado-masochistic relation and will give anything if his boyfriend will be nice to him – number 57, which you don’t have, so I’ll read it, beginning, ominously “Being your slave..” (So, actually, it’s a slave-master relation that he’s setting up)
Being your slave, what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire?
… Read More