Henry King & Transience (continued)

AG : I had xeroxed a couple of other lines of his, of  Henry King, but..  there’s one that’s pretty...“The Dirge”, in the fourth stanza, talking about life. Well, it’s another thing like that – “What is the existence of man’s life?” – Is it “war”?,  is it “a storm”? is it “a flower”? is it “a dream”? is it “a dial” (a sun dial)? –  It’s another of those logical comparisons. That’s why they call it  metaphysical-type poetry, because they make a logical comparison (and) shake it up. – “It is  a dream whose seeming … Read More

Henry King – 2 (Metrics)

[Henry King (1592-1689)]

continuing from yesterday

AG:  How is that (verse form).., let’s see, what would the meter be then,  I wonder..?  We don’t have the…It’s amazing – such a perfect poem and they don’t even have it in the anthology!

Student: Tetrameter?

AG:  “or like/the fresh/spring’s/gau/dy/hue/  Or silver drops/ of morning dew – It’s iambic tetrameter?

Student: (counts it out)  Yeah

AG:  Yeah, except it begins occasionally with a stressed word – “Like to the falling of a star”

Student: For…

AG: No, not that line. That line is reversed. You’re shifting it… “Like to/the falling/of a star”, … Read More

Henry King – 1 (“Like to the falling of a star”)

AG:  So there’s another poem that I handed out – Sic Vita by Henry King  (which I think is the most poem.. most perfect of that (transience poetry), but it also has a very great rhythm, very great cadence, that comes out of the logic of the presentation of the idea.

“Like to the falling of a star,/ Or as the flights of eagles are,/ Or like the fresh spring’s gaudy hue,/ Or silver drops of morning dew,/ Or like a wind that chafes the flood,.” –  ( you know, “chafes the flood”? – ruffles the surface of … Read More

Allen Ginsberg’s Rhyming Assignment

Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 Naropa class transcript continues

Student; Did you ever do.. have a go [at Echo Poems]?

AG: No, never did one myself but it’d be interesting to do. Should I assign it to class?

Student: You could..

AG: You’re the T.A. (teaching assistant). The assignments.. the class assignments, we have, by the way, I said I’d get to.. was.. are,/ so far,/ .not very profuse, or exact, or neat/, or complete/. You haven’t hammered your stammer/ to make it exact or compact. So, what I would suggest/ would be you be the guest/ of the muse/ and … Read More