Pound, Waller and The Wonder Breath

[“Oh!” ( the mouth open-wide, a “wonder-breath” – “Ah! – “Go!” – (Allen Ginsberg & Peter Orlovsky re Ezra Pound & Edmund Waller) – 1979 – Photograph by Desdemone Bardin]
AG: Well, if you..   I ‘d like to read that whole thing [Ezra Pound’s “Envoi“] once in..  just through, to get the variance from one stanza to another, because it seems that it’s surging, a very delicate surge from stanza to stanza that really concludes in a nice way – and it’s great music. In fact, why don’t we do it together?   this one.. … why don’t … Read More

Pound and Waller (“Go dumb-born book”)

[Ezra Pound]
[Edmund Waller]
AG: Then (Ezra) Pound (on page one thousand and six). He thinks it [Waller’s “Song”} ‘s so good that it’s his high-water mark, so he wants a... And, in Pound, it’s amazing, it’s one of the few cases in the history of English poetry where somebody made an imitation that’s really just as good as the original, because Pound’s “Envoi” of 1919 is actually as beautiful, I think, as the Waller [“Go, lovely rose] –
So “Go dumb-born book’ – but was..  it.. you know..  Pound’s specialty was this long.. was quantitative meter,
Read More

Edmund Waller’s “Song” – 3

 AG: So it’s interesting to figure this [Edmund Waller’s “Song” – “Go, lovely rose”] out as sound. Now this is one of the most compelling cadences and compelling rhythms, compelling rhythms  and cadences and musics in all of English poetic lyrics…lyric. And yet, it’s one of the most mysterious as far as the count. I guess you could count .. syllables probably – “Go, lovely rose” has four, “Tell her that’s young”, “Small is the worth”, “Then die—that she” – (apparently, all the first lines are four syllables) – “Tell her that wastes her time and me” – (Tell-her-that-wastes-her-time-and-me –
Read More

Edmund Waller’s “Song” -2

 
“Go, lovely rose” continuing from yesterday
 
AG: So what have we got?  The main thing, I guess, is ..to see if the effect.. the fact that it’s a song, and so the breath is real slow (actually, probably a slow-ish song to begin with – I would guess something like  “Go lovely rose”  (Allen attempts singing) or something like that – but “Da da-da” ..what is it? “Go, lovely rose”  – Go, love-ly rose” “Go lovely rose” Go lovely rose” (Allen tries different melodies) …whatever..  There probably was music for this. “Tell her that wastes her time and me,” –
Read More

Edmund Waller’s “Song” – 1

 
 
Go, lovely rose!
Tell her that wastes her time and me,
That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.
 
Tell her that’s young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,
That hadst thou sprung
In deserts where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.
 
Small is the worth
Of beauty from the light retired:
Bid her come forth,
Suffer herself to be desired,
And not blush so to be admired.
 
Then die—that she
The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee;
How
Read More

A Brief Anthology of English Lyric

Allen at Naropa on “Basic Poetics” continuing from here
AG: So we’ll go back to Edmund Waller or do a bit more of (John) Milton. But I would like to get to Edmund Waller for a while, for a brief while. Is that alright? Is that… “Go, lovely rose”  (on page three-oh-five). And I’ll read that, and see how it works. I think of all the little lyrics we’ve gone over, this was the one like “Ask Me No More..” and “scepter and crown” (“Ask me no more..” was Carew)  – “Scepter and crown/Must crumble down/ And … Read More

Allen Ginsberg – Ars Poetica – Dallas Texas 1980 – Joe Stanco Interview

Following on from last weekend, and complimentary to an earlier tape that we featured (from Richmond College, Dallas Texas), another video gem from the Stanford Archives – Ars Poetica – An Interview with Allen Ginsberg conducted by Joe Stanco

[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

The Decline of English Poetry

[William Cowper (1731-1800) – “… William Cowper, who was completely crazy …”]

Allen’s been discussing the poems of Robert Herrick

AG: There’s a nice, … but then, something that happens now, from here on out. It started. You got a shot of it in (John) Donne with that masochistic religion, and the interiorization of the spirit into some kind of deus ex machina outside, on the other side of the clouds, that’s supposed to come and rape your mind. And then, from then on, there’s all these different varieties..it gets squeezed..English poetry gets squeezed more and more into this … Read More