Catching Up – Ben Jonson, John Donne)

[ Ben Jonson (1572-1637) & John Donne ( 1572-1631)

1980 -Allen was absent and unable to teach one week, so poet Dick Gallup took over his Naropa “Basic Poetics’ class. Allen, on his return, was eager to find out what happened.

AG: What happened with Dick (Gallup)? How was the class?

Student: It was funny

AG: What did you take up?

Student: Everything.. (John Donne),  (Ben) Jonson….

AG: Did he do the Ben Jonson poem on Shakespeare?

Student: No, no, he gave us some background about their lives.

AG: Good, because I don’t know anything about that.

Student He … Read More

Larry Fagin (1937-2017)

Larry Fagin, poet, editor, teacher, long-time leading member of the so-called “New York School” of poetry, died yesterday. He was 79 years old. An important co-worker with Allen at Naropa (and, coincidentally, upstairs neighbour in his 12th Street tenement in Manhattan), he was, (though not himself a Buddhist), alongside fellow St Marks poet, Anne Waldman, one of the key figures in the initial years of that on-going experiment. Allen himself was quite unequivocal – “I don’t know of a better editor and teacher of poetry and prose than Fagin”, he once declared. Larry’s early teaching there can … Read More

Campion – “Follow Thy Fair Sun…”

Thomas Campion (1567-1620)

AG: So the next one that he (Thomas Campion) has is  “Follow Thy.. Sun Unhappy Shadow” (Norton (anthology) page 225, it’s the page before, in the Norton, it begins at the bottom of page 225 ) – Do you know what it… does anyone know how to sing that? if you’ve got the music? – Does anybody know that one? – [to Student] Have you worked on that at all? Student: I.. I.. I could kind of do it. AG: Yeah, well let’s have.. Student: Do it, first? AG:  Want to do this first? … Read More