Peter Orlovsky Parinirvana

Peter Orlovsky’s Parinirvana.  Allen Ginsberg’s long-time companion, died, seven years ago, on this day.  Those who knew him will certainly never forget Peter. His remarkable and inspired book of poems, Clean Asshole Poems and Smiling Vegetable Songs, idiosyncratic spellings and all, is quite like any other book of poems. His papers (now residing at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, Austin) yielded the posthumous companion-piece Peter Orlovsky – A Life In Words.  There is also the sadly-out-of-print 1980 volume, Straight Hearts’ Delight. We’ve quoted from it before. Here’s another letter from Peter … Read More

More on the Dochmiac

 

[Marble Mask – Ancient Greek –  (c. 1st Century BC) – from the Archaeological Museum of Athens]

Allen Ginsberg on metrics continues

Student; What’s it called?

AG: Dochmiac, the dochmiac or dochmiac meter – D-O-C-H-M-I-A-C. However, when you reverse it like this [Allen shows on the blackboard] – where the two long feet or two (stresses) come first –ba-boom-boom ba-boom-boom – you get the hypo-dochmaic . Now this is a dochmaic or dochmaic meter (in) that form, and the one that we’re using (which you’ll come to again, so you might as well find out what this is … Read More

Remembering/Misremembering A Little Hart Crane

Hart Crane read by Tennessee Williams,

AG:  Is that in.. “Hurricane“, I wonder,  is that in our book? by Hart Crane – (could that) just by any stray chance be here? [in the Norton Anthology]  – same meter (as Ben Jonson’s  “Slow, Slow, Fresh Fount..” – “Lo, Lord, Thou ridest!” – C-R-A-N-E (Allen continues to rifle through the book)

Student: Seven eighty-one?

AG: What number?

Student: (Page) seven eighty-one, Hart Crane begins?….

AG: Let’s see, if they’ve got it in here. It might not be, but it’s a great poem. I’ll bring it in on another occasion if … Read More

Ginsberg’s “Woe unto thee Manhattan” (An Early Sonnet)

townandthecity

AG: I think.. I wrote.. When I first read Jack Kerouac’s first book, I wrote a sonnet imitating this, that ended something like.. something very similar with “Woe unto..” (yes, “Sion is…”  “Sion lies waste, and thy Jerusalem,/ O Lord, is fall’n to utter desolation

Woe unto thee, Manhattan, woe to thee,

Woe unto all the cities of the world.

Repent, Chicagos, O repent; ah, me!

Los Angeles, now thou art gone so wild,

I think thou art still mighty, yet shall be,

As the earth shook, and San Francisco fell,

An angel in an agony of … Read More

Fulke Greville & Hart Crane’s Atlantis

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hart

AG: – Is [Hart Crane’s] ”Atlantis in here? – where you’ll find something similar [to Fulke Greville] there. The reason I was thinking of that little poem is that it’s got a lot of.. it’s a seminal poem that a lot of people have heard that got a little vibe out of – Crane’s Atlantis, and, if it’s not here, I’ll bring it in some other time …. Nine-forty-three..Hart? what? One-thousand-and-eighty-three – Hart Crane.. I’ll see if I can find a similar piece of rhetoric…No, “Atlantis” isn’t here.. Well, okay I’ll substitute for that another piece of … Read More