More on Meters

AG: So there’s tone and pitch and then there’s the long and short vowel, and then there’s a light and heavy accent. So there’s…  Actually, Greek meters did consist in there.. that’s something interesting, these guys, particularly (Ben) Jonson, knew Greek, Greek meters consisted, as modern classicists classify them, (modern classicists classify them, Greek professors classify them), as – stress, accent and quantity (and that’s a little confusing, what’s stress and what’s accent?) – But, usually.. the terminology which is used nowadays, which has been useful for Greek… terminology used for analyzing Greek poetics (which would be useful to … Read More

A Brief Detour on Metrics -1


Allen continuing his class on Sir Philip Sidney‘s poem  [Astrophil and Stella – Sonnet 1 – “Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show”]

Student; So after that?

AG: Well, I don’t know. What happened to the “of”? – [”That She, dear She might take some pleasure/Of my pain”] – “of my pain”, “pleasure of my pain” – That’s one of the problems of the transcription. So we’ll substitute the “That” for the “Of”, we’ve still got six

“Pleasure might cause her read,/ reading might make her know”, no, “Pleasure/ might cause her/ read,/ … Read More

Campion’s Prosody

Allen Ginsberg’s January 1980 Naropa  class on Basic Poetics continues with transcription of one-on-one conversation that appears to take place after the formal end of the class  

AG: Pat (sic), did you ever read that –  (Thomas) Campion‘s treatises on the music and poetry? Student (Pat (sic)) :  I’ve read the Observations in The Art of English Poesie  AG: Is that the one that takes up quantitative.?  Student (Pat): Yeah AG: Do you have a copy of Campion ?  Could you prepare a little summary of his ideas on quantity…You know what he says about that? [Allen is temporarily distracted … Read More

Basil Bunting’s Lectures on Poetic Origins – 1

Basil Bunting  (1900-1985)

AG:  Some of the ideas that (Basil) Bunting was laying out, I would like to lay out here because they’re just very interesting. He was saying that, first of all, English poetry was sung up until the 17th century. All the poets wrote for singing including, of all people, John Donne! – Donne was sung. He was put to music by   a fellow named Ferrabosco of that era  (do you know anything about that?) – Well, apparently Donne was actually sung. Donne is usually taught nowadays as if he… you know.. he has one or two

Read More