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)


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



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