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

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 286


Allen Ginsberg and his life-long partner, Peter Orlovsky, New York City, 1977 – Photograph by Gordon Ball


The Beat Generation exhibit at the Pompidou Center draws to a close with a number of specially-scheduled events – a colloquium and a series of films. Last chance to catch this extraordinary exhibit in its Parisian manifestation.

Here‘s Joseph Nechvatal‘s review in Hyperallergic


Peter Orlovsky, Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg

et aussi à Paris Next week sees the publication of Shakespeare and Company, Paris: A History of the Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, edited by … Read More

Campion’s Rose-Cheek’d Laura – 2

“Rose-cheek’d Laura, come/Sing thou smoothly with thy beauty’s/Silent music..” (Thomas Campion)

AG: (Basil) Bunting would probably do it [Campion’s “Rose-Cheek’d Laura“] much slower – “These dull notes we sing..” Discords need for helps to grace them” – The form here is.. what? Sapphic?  Anacrenotic? – or something like that, some Greek form

Student (Pat): No this is what he calls the English iambic (curiously enough, since it’s trochaic)

AG: ….da-data-data-data – counted by four, counted by accent..

Student (Pat): (These are) experimental.pieces from the Observations in the Art (of  English Poesie)

AG: Okay, now.  So this … Read More

Campion’s Rose-Cheek’d Laura – 1

AG: Let’s see what else there is? The really great one for that I always thought was.. on (page) two-two-seven..Rose-cheek’d Laura – two-two-seven      Student; All the other books spell Laura with a “w” and not a “u” AG: L-A-W-R-A? – Yeah, “Lawra” ..because that makes the vowel longer – “Lawra” –  What I… [to Student]  Do you know the music to that one? Student: It’s not in there. AG: It’s not in there. But, anyway.. Dig the way it goes . “Rose-cheek’d Laura, come”. It’s not  “Rose-cheek’d Laura come” – “Rose-cheek’d Laura, come” – Rose-cheek’d – breath – Laura, … Read More

Bunting & Campion – Follow Thy Sun..

AG: …But anyway, getting back to (Thomas) Campion (and) (Basil) Bunting‘s vocalization of “Follow Thy Sun…. ”  – What page is that (in the (Norton) anthology)? Two-twenty-five again?

[Allen, turning on and off the tape of the Bunting’s lecture recording, searches on the tape-recorder] – “Well, let’s see what he says about it – He was using records too – It’ll be clear in a minute..”

[At approximately thirty-two-and a quarter minutes in (and concluding at approximately thirty-four-and-a-quarter minutes in), Allen plays a recording of Bunting reading Campion’s  “Follow Thy Sun…” – “Follow thy fair sun, unhappy shadow/Tough … Read More

William Blake – The Little Black Boy

AG: Does anyone know (William) Blake’s “Little Black Boy”? – with a funny similar, similar little metaphor in that. Anybody here know that?  Does everybody here know “Little Black Boy”? Anyone not? Who knows it..? Student: I don’t know it.  AG: ……or know of  it, know of it. Student: I heard it was sung.

AG: Yeah, maybe I’ll sing that..while we’re at it, at that  – not that it’s that relevant but the tune is (also important)…..Just for a similarity of theme I’ll get right to that song.

Student: Page five-hundred-and-forty-seven 

AG: What.. is it in here? – “Black Boy”?.. “The Little Black Boy”? – … Read More

Saturday September 17 – William Carlos Williams

                                                 [William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)]

Today we celebrate William Carlos Williams birthday, born September 17, 1883   

We’d like to draw your attention to the extraordinary resource of the William Carlos Williams page on PennSound 

Here’s a key text of Williams. His 1955 introduction to Allen’s “Howl & Other Poems” – “Hold back the edges of your gowns, Ladies, we are going through hell” – 

“When he was younger and I was younger, I … Read More