George Gascoigne’s Lullaby

George Gascoigne (1535-1577)

[Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 Naropa “Basic Poetics” class continues. An inscription on the tape notes that the first forty-five minutes of this class are missing (were not recorded) but the class picks up with this fresh tape, recorded February 21, 1980]   

AG: Next, (George) Gascoigne, now we’re getting serious – page one-nine-nine – one-nine-nine, oh, I’m sorry, page one-twenty-nine,  the “Lullaby” (“The Lullaby of A Lover“) – Is anybody familiar with this poem? Has anybody read it before? Somebody like to read it? Somebody who hasn’t read ever?, just  improvise it as you go along … Read More

Dowland – 2 – Fine Knacks For Ladies


AG: Connected to that (“Weep You No More Sad Fountains“)  is (John Dowland‘s) “Fine Knacks  For (The) Ladies” (one page before, page 111)

[At approximately sixty-one minutes in (and concluding at approximately  sixty-two-and-three-quarter minutes in) , AG plays a recording of  John Dowland’s  “Fine Knacks For Ladies” – (“Though all my wares be trash, the heart is true” – “Sing it to Andy Warhol!” – “the orient’st pearl … Read More

Allen Ginsberg in Baltimore 1973

Allen Ginsberg at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore,  October 1973 A vintage reading today from 1973 (see here) –  Allen reads, principally, from poems that will appear in the collection, Mind Breaths

AG: (I’ve been here) pretty regularly about every third semester. So I’ve been here, I think, since the mid ‘Sixties, presenting sequentially, every alternate year, the new poetry that I’ve written in the last seasons. So that’s probably what I’ll do this time again. I was here about a year-and-a-half ago [1972]. So I’ll read poems written in the last year-and-a-half., since I was here in … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 287

Wait Till I’m Dead, Allen Ginsberg’s recently-published collection of uncollected posthumous poems, (which has not had anything like the notices that it should have), recently received an attentive and intelligent review in Empty Mirror from poet-scholar Marc Olmsted  (“What we come away with is wanting more..”) – see hereDrawing attemtion to Andrzej’s Pietrasz‘s Allen Ginsberg in Poland (Andrzej’s just back from a visit to the Beats show in Paris and he brought his camera)

Jeff Nightbyrd,

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Dowland – 1 – Weep You No More Sad Fountains

AG: So. Now then with some other music of Dowland  We have a couple of  (John) Dowland songs (on the tape) which are in our texts.  So, to begin with, the, the one that was set to music, the “Weep You No More, Sad Fountains“,  (that’s on) 113)     [From approximately fifty-six-and-a-quarter to fifty-seven-and-a-quarter minutes in, there is ambient conversation among  the students, as AG goes to set up the record –   AG: “..this is the end of the last song – Student: Turn it down a bit – AG- Turn it down?”]  [From approximately fifty-seven-and-three-quarter minutes in (to … Read More

Rose-Cheek’d Laura’s Centrality

[Ezra Pound, Basil Bunting, Louis Zukofsky, Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, William Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore]

AG: So you’ll find in the twentieth-century,  (Ezra) Pound, (Basil) Bunting, (Louis) ZukofskyRobert Duncan, some of (Robert) Creeley, all derive from this poem or from the practice of this poem. It’s sort of like the secret inner measure of their work, the kind of attempt that Campion is getting into here or the territory he’s getting into. And that was related to the idea of William Carlos Williams of finding a measure that would be an American … Read More

More Rose-Cheek’d Laura

[“Only beauty purely loving/Knows no discord” (Thomas Campion)]

Continuing with classroom discussion of Campion’s “Rose-cheek’d Laura..” Rose-cheek’d Laura, come Sing thou smoothly with thy beauty’s Silent music, either other Sweetly gracing Lovely forms do flow From concent divinely framed; Heav’n is music and thy beauty’s Birth is heavenly. These dull notes we sing Discords need for helps to grace them; Only beauty purely loving Knows no discord, But still moves delight Like clear springs renew’d by flowing, Ever perfect, ever in them- Selves eternal.

AG: I guess it’s (it’s metrics are) pretty natural  – [to Student (Pat)] – Have … Read More

1990 – Matters of General Importance


Edvard Munch – The Scream  (1893)- National Gallery, Oslo, Norway

Allen and Philip Glass‘s 1990 interview with Studs Terkel (see here and here) concludes with Terkel offering Allen an open platform to “go off” on “anything of his choice”. Allen takes full advantage, listing the dangerous turn to censorship and repression in contemporary America circa 1990 (his “cautionary footnote”, as Terkel describes it, is a snapshot of a moment, but still reads chillingly, and regrettably, continuingly, pertinent in the light of present times.)   

ST: Al, I thought we’d go off open-endedly, as they used to say in the … Read More

Studs Terkel Interviews Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass on WFMT, Chicago 1990 – part 2

Philip Glass – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg – Kiev Restaurant, NYC, 1993 – Photo  c. Allen Ginsberg Estate

continuing from yesterday

ST: Resuming with Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass, poet (and) composer working together. We heard just a piece of the very haunting “Satyagraha – the Evening Song“, earlier, that opened the Lyric Opera season. It was a pip of an opening. Critics and audience both (raved). That was three years ago… Liquid Days?  (Songs from) Liquid Days) is what?

PG: Well, it’s a collection of songs I did. In a way, it’s kind of … Read More

Studs Terkel Interviews Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass on WFMT, Chicago, 1990 – part 1

[Studs Terkel, 1912-2008

[Jewel Heart Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Philip GlassGelek Rinpoche & Allen Ginsberg, November 17, 1989]

[Philip Glass]

[Allen Ginsberg]

Studs Terkel Interviews Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass, 1990

We featured, a week or so back, Studs Terkel’s hilarious 1959 radio interview with Allen, Gregory Corso, and a mostly-silent Peter Orlovsky. Here’s another Terkel interview with Allen (alongside composer-collaborator, Philip Glass), this one recorded over three decades later. Ginsberg and Glass are in town (Chicago) for a benefit performance for Gelek Rinpoche‘s Jewel Heart organization (as Terkel periodically reminds his listeners), an … Read More