Ezra Pound’s Manifest

[Ezra Pound, Allen Ginsberg and Fernanda Pivano, Portofino, September 23, 1967 Photo: Ettore Sottsass]

AG: So here’s another comment on it (“To Mr Henry Lawes And His Airs”) – and then I’m comparing that with a little thing I saw copied out – “A Preface to Poems by Basil Bunting 1950, from the Cleaners Press, Galveston, Texas”, a brief essay by Ezra Pound which is also lost in leaves of history, never been reprinted, called “A Manifest As of 1950”, signed by a guy named Dallan Flynn, because, I think that Ezra Pound was by then … Read More

Composition and Condensation – 1

[Basil Bunting tries his hand at editing Shakespeare]

AG:  And then there was another thing.. I was talking with…Rachel [sic]…with Rachel..and we were talking about composition and condensation of poems and ..some ideas crystallized that might be useful. I’ve talked about it before I thought but apparently I had never said it around Rachel (tho; I thought I said it in any number of..over a dozen classes) there was that idea of Basil Bunting‘s, which (Ezra) Pound handed on, which was that poetics was condensation – and I think I’ll talk about that – and I’ve applied it in … Read More

Granelli & Sompa and basic rhythms

[Photo: Jazz drummer, percussionist, Jerry Granelli]

Student: (Rhythm.. rhythms)

AG: But – wait a minute – but, if you did a little bit of work with Titos Sompa [Congolese-Californian teaching at Naropa] and [jazz-drummer] Jerry Granelli in analyzing, not analyzing, just learning, the basic Afric rhythms that they use ( you’ve heard them play, haven’t you?)

Student: (Sure).

AG: Have you heard Titos Sompa? – What are their names, Titos and..?

Student: Bemba..

AG: Bemba..  They are teaching basic African rhythms, (which are not very different from this kind of five.. five-beat rhythms – in fact, what they are … Read More

Ezra Pound – Two “Piths” From The ABC of Reading

AG: The ABC of Reading from Ezra Pound – yeah how many know that? I recommend taking a look at that or buying it, or reading it. It’s a litttle anthology, like a teaching anthology, to hit high points and special effects in .. you know, Mike? (sic) have you read it?

Student (Mike):  Yes

AG: When?

Student (Mike): In the summer, the past summer..

AG: (We’re)  talking about Ezra Pound’s ABC of Reading. It’s a book I’ve come back to over and over again for clear ideas and suggestions in how to write, how to think about writing. I … Read More

Comprehensive Reading

Edmund Spenser (1552-1599)

AG: Edmund Spenser is a colossus, and he’s so big that I think we’ll go around him Except, maybe, one or two, one or two little short things – the Epithalamion – a big Leviathan poem here, marriage poem. What I would suggest is that you go home and read it. It’s got a great stanza form, it’s got a great rhythmic form. So what we might do (here) is read just the first and last stanzas, just to get the stanzaic form get a taste..  Page 162 – I’m sorry..

Well, he’s very brilliant in, you … Read More

Marlowe & Raleigh (The Passionate Shepherd)

 

Abraham Bloemaert – Shepherd and Shepherdess (1627) oil on canvas – in the collection of Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum, Hannover (Germany)

AG: Does everybody here from high school remember (Christopher) Marlowe and (Walter) Raleigh‘s little complimentary poems, “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” and “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd“? Has everybody read those? – A few. Well, let’s get on to those.  [Editorial note – Earlier recordings of Allen reading those two poems can be found here] Do you want to read… Let’s start with the Marlowe. Rachel [sic], do you want to read that? … 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

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

Basil Bunting Reads Campion – 2

Basil Bunting can be heard again on tape, reading from Campion.

WHEN thou must home to shades of underground, And there arrived, a new admirèd guest, The beauteous spirits do engirt thee round, White Iope, blithe Helen, and the rest, To hear the stories of thy finish’d love          From that smooth tongue whose music hell can move; Then wilt thou speak of banqueting delights, Of masques and revels which sweet youth did make, Of tourneys and great challenges of knights, And all these triumphs for thy beauty’s sake:          When thou hast told these… Read More

Basil Bunting continued – (Bunting reads Campion)

Basil Bunting (1900-1985)
Thomas Campion (1567-1620)

A fresh tape Basil Bunting  in media res reading Thomas Campion‘s “Hark, all you ladies that do sleep!”     

HARK, all you ladies that do sleep!   The fairy-queen Proserpina Bids you awake and pity them that weep   You may do in the dark     What the day doth forbid;            Fear not the dogs that bark,     Night will have all hid. But if you let your lovers moan,   The fairy-queen Proserpina Will send abroad her fairies every one,            That shall pinch black and blue     Your white hands and fair arms   That did not kindly… Read More