Continuing with our on-going feature of videos from the recently-digitalized Stanford Archives – today a tv appearance from 1985, on “New England Today” (on the occasion of the publication of Collected Poems 1947-1980)
Interviewer: My guest right now is Allen Ginsberg and he has written a number of poems and this is a big book if you like poetry, a big book of Collected Poems from 1947 to 1980, and, actually, this is your whole life in these poems, isn’t it Allen?
AG: Yes, everything I’ve written in poetry for thirty-three years, with profuse illustrations, numerous notes at the … Read More
Ezra Pound died 45 years ago today in Venice, Italy. He is buried in the Cimitero di San Michele (along with other twentieth-century icons – Sergei Diaghilev, Igor Stravinsky..)
Allen, from his recollection, of a conversation, in the restaurant of the Pensione Cici in Venice, some five years earlier:
“The intention was bad – that’s the trouble – anything I’ve done has been an accident – any good has been spoiled by my intentions – the preoccupation with irrelevant and stupid things -” Pound said this quietly, rusty voiced like an old child, looked directly in my … Read More
[The participants begin, caught in conversation, in media res]
JS: Oh. – My name is Joe Stanco and I’m talking today with Allen Ginsberg and, at the moment, we were discussing Ezra Pound who’s certainly..in fact you said, at one point, “the most important American poet since Whitman”
AG: I guess. Yeah. Well… (Because ) he had more effect … Read More
MR: What’s a nice Jewish boy like you doing with all of the Christian metaphors and analogies?. It’s just “Christ,” “Jesus, “”the Church”, “Crucifixtion”…
AG: Well, what I’ve been talking (except to the reference to St John of the Cross) has mostly been formal Buddhist dharma, which is a perception of the Universe as transient, in the sense of.. The basic.. first basic thing is – all the constituents of being are transitory. So that’s why I’ve … Read More
[Allen begins reading from “Sad Dust Glories”] – “When I sit/I see dust motes in my eye/Ponderosa needles trembling/shine green/in blue sky./Wind sound passes thru/ pine tops, distant/windy waves flutter back/oak leaves/and leave thenm still/like my mind/which forgets why the blue jay across the wood’s clearing/squwks, in mid-afternoon.”
MR: Welcome to “I Believe” and Allen Ginsberg. Allen, I suspect that a lot … Read More
AG: So I would say now move on to.. 1956- moving on from 1956 to 1976. I have a series of poems which will require some music also – “Father Death Blues” – if we can get together on the stage –
My father died in 1976 in midsummer and I wrote a series of poems while he was alive because I spent a lot of time with him during the previous..during the winter that he was wasting, He was quite old and not in pain because it was a … Read More
AG: So there’s another poem that I handed out – Sic Vita by Henry King (which I think is the most poem.. most perfect of that (transience poetry), but it also has a very great rhythm, very great cadence, that comes out of the logic of the presentation of the idea.
“Like to the falling of a star,/ Or as the flights of eagles are,/ Or like the fresh spring’s gaudy hue,/ Or silver drops of morning dew,/ Or like a wind that chafes the flood,.” – ( you know, “chafes the flood”? – ruffles the surface of … Read More
AG: We’re way off the subject. ..which was.. there was a really great poem I wanted to lay out, which I put out, by Henry King, (which is like the “Palinode“.) – We’ll get back to this (the “Palinode”) – I mean, has anybody got some heavy thing that they want to continue it on?
Edmund Bolton’s “Palinode” (on page two-seventy), which sets forth a great theme that recurs through all English poetry and also a great logical way of handling the theme – and I would like it because it’s … Read More