Vojo Sindolic’s 1986 Belgrade Interview – part one

[Allen Ginsberg in Belgrade, 1986]

Vojo Sindolic‘s 1986 interview with Allen in Belgrade (in two parts – the second part will follow tomorrow) is our focus on The Allen Ginsberg Project this weekend.

Vojo’s translation of Cosmopolitan Greetings  (Kozmopolitski pozdravi ) has just appeared from Hrvatskoga društva pisaca  (h,d,p) (the Croatian Writers Society

Here, he introduces the interview:

“Allen Ginsberg and I were very close friends for twenty years from 1977 until his death in 1997. I felt and still feel deep love for his poetic insight, or as one may call it – it was literary … Read More

More Robert Duncan – 3

More Robert Duncan.   This is the second of three videos.  The first (along with a transcript) is available – here (and continues – here)

RD: How do you feel the first time that you ask for a job? Is it you that does the interview? – No, I think it’s one of these daily persons like the dream-person, like the.. and so forth… And so I have at least these three (sic) realms I’m familiar with. And then we ‘ve got testimony that people live in the realm that religious people live in. We know there’s that other … Read More

More Robert Duncan – 2

Robert Duncan at Novato, California, 1976,  continuing from – here

AG: Well, lets now for… to move onto a few more poems from this book [Bending the Bow]. It’s the first book also in which the contemplation of the meaning of our American experience emerges very strongly and it’s nice in our solemn bicentennial year (1976 (sic) – Duncan is speaking in 1976),   I haven’t got an American flag hanging in the background, But if poets came out roaring when the inequities of America appeared at full blast in that Vietnamese War, it was not because they weren’t American, it … Read More

Richard Lovelace (Althea and Lucasta)

[Richard Lovelace (1617-1657)]

Allen Ginsberg, continuing his 1980 Basic Poetics class at Naropa – here

AG: Well, he lives only..  (Richard) Lovelace lives only forty years. The commentator here says,  “a life of only forty years spent in such vicissitude give little opportunity for that retirement from the world that art and scholarship require” – So, now, Lovelace has written a couple of classics, that everybody knows, by heart actually  – “To Althea From Prison” – maybe… who would like to read that? – does anybody know this poem? – Remember “Stone walls do not a prison make/Nor … Read More

WCW on WNET continued

USA Poetry – William Carlos Williams –  transcript continues  (see here)

[note –  on occasion some

from the Letters of William Carlos Williams

To Kay Boyle (1932)

“Dear Kay Boyle….. There is no workable poetic form extant among us today..Joyce and Stein have..gone out of their way to draw down the attention on words so that the line has become pulverous instead of metallic – or at least ductile…For myself I have written very little poetry recently. Form, the form has been lacking. Instead I have been watching speech in my own environment from which I continually expect … Read More

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,
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More on Metrics – 4

AG:  Well, so we have “Go lovely..” and I was thinking – “Tell her that wastes her time and me” – “Tell her that wastes” (da da da da)  – “her time and me” – “Tell her that wastes her time and me”  – seems to be two halves, equally cadenced –  “Tell her that wastes her time and me” – and that would be da da da-da – That’s the epitritus tertius – “Tell her that wastes her time and me.”   If you were going to emphasize the more… not so much.. if you were going to be dwelling
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More on Metrics – 3

AG: Well, it’s not that that you need to be able to understand it [Greek prosody] to write a poem. It’s not perverting your speech to get those rhythms. Rather, it is that speech does have those rhythms, and that you can follow the cadences with those rhythms, that when we were taught in drama-school and high-school primary rhythms, it was very rare that anything was taught beyond the four variants of iamb, trochee, anapest and dactyl.  – that seemed to be the range of  the English ear, or awareness of rhythm, or American high-school awareness of rhythm, … Read More

More Observations on Ezra Pound

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