John Dowland/Basil Bunting

 

John Dowland (1563-1626)

Allen Ginsberg’s January 1980 Basic Poetics class continues (in preparation for future notes on John Dowland) AG; Apparently, I have.. the “Fine Knacks For Ladies“ that you gave me the recording? – I have some  (John) Dowland around and I had that so I’ll try and bring in a… I was going to try and get Charlie (Ross – sic) to bring in a phonograph today. Were there any others on that  beside the “Fine Knacks For Ladies” ?

Student: There’s Dowland’s setting of “Weep No More Sad Fountains” on that other one.

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Dowland Performance (“Weep ye no more, sad fountains”)

Transcription of Allen’s “Basic Poetics” class, from 1980 at Naropa, continues. The previous tape (tape 9 of 35) is missing and this tape comes in (towards the end of a class) with an in-class performance]

AG: What page is the poem  (“Weep You No More Sad Fountains” by John Dowland)
Student:  Page 115

[Editorial note – The author of this poem is, in fact, unknown, but its first recorded use was as the lyric for one of Dowland’s published lute pieces]

[Student/Musician in class plays with guitar accompaniment his own setting of  “Weep You No More…”]

Student/Musician:

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Basil Bunting’s Lectures on Poetic Origins – 4

                                   [Basil Bunting (1900-1985) – Photograph by Derek Smith] 

Allen Ginsberg’s remarks on Basil Bunting’s lectures continues – see here, here and here

AG: So Louis Zukofsky, in modern times,  was the most subtle person working with different measures and with a pure relation between musical forms and quantitative count and he was saying that the madrigal distorts words (because you’ve got several lines at once) and so words are not allowed to take whatever stress is appropriate to them in

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Basil Bunting’s Lectures on Poetic Origins – 3

                                                          [Basil Bunting (1900-1985)]

Allen Ginsberg’s remarks on Basil Bunting’s lectures continues

AG: So then, the next thing would be the comparing of the time of the steps, the time it takes for steps, or the ratio of times of the steps, to count the syllables. In..  an orderly measure in dance would be the steps, in music, it would be the notes, in poetry, the syllables. A pattern of spatial rhythms,

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Basil Bunting’s Lectures on Poetic Origins – 2 (The One-Eyed Ford)

Student: Is the “one-eyed Ford” something you just made up now?
AG: No , the “one-eyed Ford” is a  famous American-Indian twentieth-century.. It’s a great line! – It’s one of the great lines in America .. of the, as-yet, unacademicized poetry. The many many versions of the “one-eyed Ford” song (South-West – Oklahoma, actually – I heard it last year… last heard it (with Harry Smith) in Anadarko,  Oklahoma) – “My one-eyed Ford”! – It’s a great … Read More

Basil Bunting’s Lectures on Poetic Origins – 1

Basil Bunting  (1900-1985)

AG:  Some of the ideas that (Basil) Bunting was laying out, I would like to lay out here because they’re just very interesting. He was saying that, first of all, English poetry was sung up until the 17th century. All the poets wrote for singing including, of all people, John Donne! – Donne was sung. He was put to music by   a fellow named Ferrabosco of that era  (do you know anything about that?) – Well, apparently Donne was actually sung. Donne is usually taught nowadays as if he… you know.. he has one or two

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