Spontaneous Poetics 83 (Edward Marshall – 3)

[The conclusion of Gary Snyder’s “Myths & Texts Part III – Burning” opposite the opening of Edward Marshall’s “Leave The Word Alone” in The New American Poetry (1945-1960), Evergreen/Grove Press, 1960 – edited by Donald M Allen – Marshall and his poem were omitted from the revised edition of this book subsequent published as The Postmoderns, 1994]

Poet, Ted Berrigan is sitting in on Allen’s class and he chimes in

Ted Berrigan: Well, Allen, there he (Edward Marshall)’s using the word “they” (“they are/ dangerous”)…

AG: Yeah

TB: …to refer to “word”, “Bible” and “barbed wire”…

AG: Okay

TB: …and … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 81 (Form Is Just An Extension of Content)

AG: ..In this case, the form is no more than an extension of content. Got that? Form is no more than an extension of the content? Does everybody understand that in this case? Does anybody not understand that. In this case, the form is no more than an extension of the.. Larry Fagin: I don’t understand that and I want a complete explanation. I’ve never understood it and I don’t believe you! AG: You don’t understand it in this case? Larry Fagin: No Student: Oh, yeah AG: I was talking about this case. I was talking about this … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 80

Student: Is it also a good idea, when you’re doing this kind of topography with a tape-machine, or whatever, to… AG: When you’re doing this kind of topography with a tape-machine, or on the page directly, or with a tape-machine.. Student: Yeah AG: For a tape-machine notation in this form, the biggest example I have in my own writing is “Wichita Vortex Sutra” Student: Is it a good idea to.. put forced space, or space, between the thoughts, to isolate them as thoughts, where, (here) in the second paragraph, you start at the margin… AG: Because it was a new … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 77 (Typography – 2)

AG: In that area (typography) (William Carlos) Williams is interesting. And Charles Olson, in a way, is a champion typographer, in the sense that he’s making use of the scattering of the lines on the page, very literally, to indicate breathing, breath-stop. Here typography and breath-stop come together. I read a few samples of Olson and I haven’t prepared any for today because I just wanted to go on, but some of you are familiar with it, and just take a look at his page in (the) Maximus (Poems). He also adds that the typewriter as a … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 67 (William Carlos Williams 11)

[William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) – Photograph by Jonathan Williams – from “A Palpable Elysium: Portraits of Genius and Solitude]

(Continuing with Allen Ginsberg’s class on “Spontaneous Poetics” at Naropa Institute, from June 28 1976)

AG: Breath-stop is the next measuring concept. In (William Carlos) Williams case, and in Robert Creeley‘s case, and in my case, and in Charles Olson’s case, and in the practice of many modern poets, one way they divide the line when they’re doing free verse is.. (because these are all the elements, still, in open-form verse, (that) I’m talking about, saying there’s a … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 38 (Reading List 9) (Charles Olson, Pablo Neruda)

[Charles Olson (1919-1970)]

AG: I was thinking originally, when I came in to move on from ballads to those songs – (Thomas Nashe, James Shirley – and I will get, I think, to Shirley at any rate), but I want to just finish off with this list up to, let us say, Charles Olson, because it’s up to that point that, after (Robert) Creeley, from Creeley on up, at least half the class has read something, so I’ll leave any further suggestions to a written list that I’ll make up. But of Olson, I‘d suggest the

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John Wieners Birthday

[John Wieners & Allen Ginsberg, Allen’s East 12th St apt, October 3, 1985. Photo snapped by Raymond Foye. c Allen Ginsberg Estate]

The late great poet, John Wieners would have been 79 years old today. Happy Birthday, dear John, in Eternity, in Heaven! We’ll point you, first of all, to our 2011 birthday posting and to these remarkable Wieners recordings and to this, his contemporaneous (1959) observations on Allen. Lost and Found also recently published selected letters between John Wieners and Charles Olson (and John Latta‘s intelligent thoughts coming off those volumes may be read here and hereRead More

Friday Weekly Round-Up – 107

[Marsden Hartley (1878-1943) – Finnish-Yankee Sauna, (1938-9), Collection of the Frederick R Weisman Museum, Minneapolis]

Marsden Hartley‘s birthday today. Hartley was a figure Allen admired, not only as a painter, but (perhaps even more) as a strangely neglected poet. For more on Hartley the poet see here and here. For more (audio – Allen at Naropa on Hartley) – see here and here).

Beat Memories – the definitive exhibition of Allen’s photographs (that debuted at the National Gallery in Washington DC in 2010 (see here, here and here) makes its way to New York … Read More