Vojo Sindolic’s 1986 Belgrade Interview – part two

[Dubrovnik, in the old city – Photograph -Beth Leonard]

Allen Ginsberg interview – continuing from yesterday

VS: When you first visited me in my home in my birthplace, the old city of Dubrovnik, in October of 1980, you were so delighted by its beauty that you decided to stop and stay for a long four weeks!  During that time we spent any happy hours together, talking just about everything, making plans for the first book of my translations of your poems. It was there in Dubrovnik that you wrote two of your best later poems – “Birdbrain”. and Eroica” … Read More

Apollinaire’s Calligrammes & Metrical Conclusions

[Guillaume Apollinaire ( 1880-1918) by Picasso]

Continuing from yesterday

AG: … Then. Willliam Apollinaire (Guillaume Apollinaire), the Frenchman also did Calligrammes (so that would be.. the French name for that form is a calligramme – design on the page). He has one called “il pleut” which is …   “From the eaves… ” –  From..  (F-r-o-m. t-h-e-e-a-v-e-s -t-h-e-g-l-i-s-t-e-n-i-n-g-d-r-o-p-s -o-f -w-a-t-e-r-f-a-l-l-o-v-e-r – t-h-e-w-h-o-l-e-c-i-t-y) –  I don’t know  [Allen offers a translation] – “From the eaves the glistening raindrops falls down and drains over the whole city”.  You know and it’s all..  the lines are let down in strings from the … Read More

Guillaume Apollinaire – (Ombre)

Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918)

A guest-posting today from our friend (and erstwhile long-time upstairs-neighbor of Allen’s in New York) poet, John Godfrey.

Today, August 26th, is the great Guillaume Apollinaire‘s birthday

“In 1965, the U.S. troop level in Vietnam exceeded 500,000. Allen Ginsberg became perhaps the most flamboyant of many literary opponents to the war. Bearded, beat and outspokenly homosexual, his appeal was great to the young and already converted. (Pull out your old copy of Planet News (City Lights, 1968) which contains “Wichita Vortex Sutra“). Allen’s attack was on the conscience of the government and the capitalist … Read More

Allen Ginsberg & Bob Dylan at the Grave of Jack Kerouac

This little excerpt, this classic excerpt, from Bob Dylan’s lost epic, “Renaldo and Clara” (courtesy of the essential “The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg“, Jerry Aronson‘s deluxe two-disc DVD set).  Bob and Allen, in 1975, in Lowell cemetery (Edson cemetery), on the occasion of a stop-over on the legendary Rolling Thunder tour, famously standing together, beside Jack Kerouac’s grave, musing, (Allen’s certainly taking the lead), in memento mori.  Allen (gesticulating towards the grave):”So that’s what’s gonna happen to you?”  Dylan: “No, I want to be in an unmarked grave.” The clip begins with … Read More

Peter Orlovsky’s 1975 Naropa class (Poets Who Have Influenced Me)

 

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[Peter Orlovsky with mama goat (“Shiva”) and her baby, Cherry Valley Farmhouse, Cherry Valley, New York State – Photograph by Gordon Ball – Copyright Gordon Ball]  

An “unusual” transcription for this weekend. From the very early days of Naropa (August, 1975), Peter Orlovsky’s Naropa Class – “Poets Who Have Influenced Me”. He concludes, “Well, I’m sorry I wasn’t prepared. Maybe next year I’ll be better prepared”, but it is precisely the spontaneous un-prepared nature of the conversation (and the reading) that’s so interesting. If you’re listening to it on the audio, be prepared for several ponderous silences, rifling … Read More

Ron Padgett’s Collected Poems

It’s a red-letter day!  (or, to be accurate, a red-and-black letters day, on a plain cream-white background!). Coffee House Press have just published, in one 800-plus single volume, The Collected Poems of Ron Padgett.Ron Padgett‘s poems”, writes Anne Waldman, “are essential and Ron Padgett is a genius”. She goes on,”His poetry is masterful for its panoramic humanity and mind-stopping verbal wit, its breathtaking power and beauty. We want to stay with the person in these poems all day long, to be changed by the possibilities palpitating from the smallest increments of our existence to the most … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 132

[Henri Rousseau – The Sleeping Gypsy – oil on canvas, 129.5 cm × 200.7 cm (51.0 in × 79.0 in) 1897 in the collection ofthe Museum of Modern Art]

Student: I’d like to ask you and Philip Whalen what languages that you read poetry in besides English and in what ways you find it useful? AG: I read Spanish – (Federico Garcia) Lorca and (Pablo) Neruda, and Saint John of the Cross, and various little odd things in Spanish – and I was influenced a good deal by Lorca’s “Ode to Walt Whitman” – the rhythm and sort … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 76 (Typography – 1)

{[ [A manuscript page of an unpublished Ginsberg poem” – to illustrate the 1966 Paris Review interview]

 
AG: Typographical typography – topography – Typographical Topography – I invented that category! – Topography – the way it looks on the page, the map, the map of the words on the page (or, that’s probably the wrong word, but, anyway, the typographical arrangement of words on the page) is another 20th Century trick, or technique, or piece of shrewdness for arranging the lines on the page. This is for the eye more than for the tongue or the mouth. And for
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Spontaneous Poetics – 34 (Reading List 5) (Vachel Lindsay, John Ashbery, Guillaume Apollinaire)

Vachel Lindsay, only nineteen people (in this class) have read. He wrote a poem called “The Congo”. How many here know “The Congo”? How many don’t know of “The Congo”, have never heard of “The Congo”? We don’t have it here, but, basically, it’s a powerful rhythmic thing that everybody would enjoy. They used to teach it in grammar school, but… [Allen quotes from the poem to show why, unsurprisingly, it’s fallen out of fashion] – “Fat black bucks in a wine-barrel room/Barrel-house kinds, with feet unstable..” (continues down to) “Listen to the yell of Leopold’s ghost burning … Read More