Ginsberg’s “Woe unto thee Manhattan” (An Early Sonnet)

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AG: I think.. I wrote.. When I first read Jack Kerouac’s first book, I wrote a sonnet imitating this, that ended something like.. something very similar with “Woe unto..” (yes, “Sion is…”  “Sion lies waste, and thy Jerusalem,/ O Lord, is fall’n to utter desolation

Woe unto thee, Manhattan, woe to thee,

Woe unto all the cities of the world.

Repent, Chicagos, O repent; ah, me!

Los Angeles, now thou art gone so wild,

I think thou art still mighty, yet shall be,

As the earth shook, and San Francisco fell,

An angel in an agony of … Read More

Fulke Greville & Hart Crane’s Atlantis

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hart

AG: – Is [Hart Crane’s] ”Atlantis in here? – where you’ll find something similar [to Fulke Greville] there. The reason I was thinking of that little poem is that it’s got a lot of.. it’s a seminal poem that a lot of people have heard that got a little vibe out of – Crane’s Atlantis, and, if it’s not here, I’ll bring it in some other time …. Nine-forty-three..Hart? what? One-thousand-and-eighty-three – Hart Crane.. I’ll see if I can find a similar piece of rhetoric…No, “Atlantis” isn’t here.. Well, okay I’ll substitute for that another piece of … Read More

“False flames spiritual but infernal” (more Fulke Greville)

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Fulke Greville (1554-1628)

Student: Nor with false flames spiritual but infernal/Dry up Thy Mercy’s ever springing fountains.”

AG: Yeah, I like that line too. The reason I like that line , that is.. What’s your kick on that?

Student: I don’t know, It seems like thought, just the idea of, like, spiritual hypocrisy again

AG: Well, the idea there is.. Alright, yes – The Christ’s “false flames spiritual but infernal”, (or  the acid-heads’ “false flames spiritual but infernal”, if you want to give it a present application). But, what I like about that line, particularly, is “nor with..” … Read More

‘….sensual, insatiable vast womb” (Fulke Greville)

fulke-gcontinuing with a class on Fulke Greville’s “Sion Lies Waste”

AG: …Babylon – “That sensual, insatiable vast womb,/ Of thy seen Church”, (“sensual”, you know, fucking, and cocksucking, and having banquets, and having boys. At this time, particularly, I guess during Renaissance times, the Church was particularly luxurious and amusing – and “insatiable” (like, getting in money, bringing in money) – “Vast womb” would refer to the whore of Babylon – “ Of thy seen Church, Thy unseen Church disgraceth” – (actually.. I don’t go over these poems very much in terms of meaning, tho’ they’re… partly because I’m … Read More

Allen Ginsberg reads Iron Horse in London 1967

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Iron Horse Allen Ginsberg, 1973, Coach House Press, Toronto

From the University of Iowa’s University Archives Allen Ginsberg recorded in London in August of 1967AG: Beginning then (first) with an invocation to Sarasawti, Hindu goddess of  learning music and poetry, and mantra, Bengali mantra to Saraswati –  “Jaya Jaya Devi….”(“Victory Victory goddess..”)

If you can’t hear me, as I go along, will you interrupt me, and if you can’t hear my father also, let us know. What I’m going to read now is a continuation of a long poem on these States, part of.. I read

Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 292

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It’s been a monumental week.   Here at the Ginsberg blog now on Ginsberg.org we’re transitioning (as you see) from our old site to our new presence (part of the spruce-up of the entire site). Some work remains, protecting and reconstituting our archives, (not to mention, other aspects of the site), meticulously going through old posts one-by-one, so bear with us.

Meanwhile, like the rest of the world, still reeling, Here’s the ACLU’s statement.

Not enough that a madman is handed keys to the world.   The death, yesterday, aged 82, of poet-troubadour legendary rock star, Leonard Cohen.  R.I.P.

Rolling Read More

Robert Frank’s Birthday

November 9th 2016, Robert Frank‘s 92nd birthday. We celebrate the great photographer-film-makerHere‘s Nicholas Dawidoff’s profile from last year in the New York Times – The Man Who Saw America. And here’s Nicholas Davidoff’s recent review of  Robert Frank, the filmmaker in The New Yorker 

Laura Israel‘s unique ciné-portrait Don’t Blink Robert Frank opened earlier this year to almost-universally enthusiastic reviews. “Frank is delightful company, as emotionally transparent and offhandedly insightful in person, as he is in his art”, writes Elise Nakhnikian in Slant magazine. “Frank insists, “I’m not a verbal man. I have nothing … Read More

“Trembling Lambs”

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William Blake – title-page of America a Prophecy copy A (printed 1795) – collection of the Morgan Library

 

Allen, writing, prophetically, in 1959:

AG: “Recent history is the record of a vast conspiracy to impose one level of mechanical consciousness on mankind and exterminate all manifestations of that unique part of human sentience, identical in all men, which the individual shares with his Creator. The suppression of contemplative individuality is nearly complete…”

“Because systems of mass communication can communicate only officially acceptable levels of reality, no one can ever know the extent of the secret unconscious life. No one … Read More