Our focus today – Eric Mottram, (1924-1995), author of (among many other titles) the brief survey, Allen Ginsberg in the Sixties – a poet, critic and scholar, a central figure in the English/transatlantic connection, one of the earliest, most astute and most passionate, readers and observers and commentators on Allen’s work.
Mottram on Ginsberg, from a lecture, given at Kings College London, circa 1970
“He [Allen]’s very conscious now of finding strategies for being very very private in public.”
He goes on:
“But if you are going to say, “okay, private life is primary, the body is primary, … Read More
“The membrane between poetry and“song,” as we think of it in 2017, has always been flimsy and permeable; once all poems were songs. Ginsberg’s weird, wobbly singing [in “The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience” CD] is sometimes dissonant, but it gets at something essential to Blake’s work. It’s as good a narration of the phases of a life as I can think of..”
Might we recommend, as a holiday gift, this holiday…?
The re-release of Allen’s William Blake … Read More
AG: Well, so we have “Go lovely..” and I was thinking – “Tell her that wastes her time and me” – “Tell her that wastes” (da da da da) – “her time and me” – “Tell her that wastes her time and me” – seems to be two halves, equally cadenced – “Tell her that wastes her time and me” – and that would be da da da-da – That’s the epitritus tertius – “Tell her that wastes her time and me.” If you were going to emphasize the more… not so much.. if you were going to be dwelling
[Allen Ginsberg, San Francisco, 1956 – Photograph by Harry Redl]
Allen Ginsberg continues, lecturing his Naropa students on metrics
AG: “Moloch who’s eyes….. da da-da da, da-da da da , da-da da ,da-da da-da da, da-da.. And if you have a gang of choruses going bop-pa-pa-bom, bop-pa-pa-bom, you’ve got something very powerful going on And so, in.. without knowing it, just intuitively, I was using choriambic and variations of choriambic meters, in the Moloch section of “Howl” – “Moloch-who’s-eyes-are-a-thous-and-blind-wind-ows” – (da-da da da-da da da-da da da-da) – “thousand-blind-windows”, “thousand-blind-wind..” “Moloch-who’s-eyes-are-a-thous-and-blind-wind-ows” – So it’s a combination of choriambic … Read More
Today is an historic day. The 60th anniversary of the landmark Free Speech verdict. On this day in 1957, Judge Clayton Horn declared that “Howl” was not obscene.
As he announced:
“I do not believe that “Howl” is without redeeming social importance. The first part of “Howl” presents a picture of a nightmare world; the second part is an indictment of those elements in modern society destructive of the best qualities of human nature; such elements are predominantly identified as materialism, conformity, and mechanization leading toward war. The third part presents a picture of an individual who is … Read More
Patti Smith‘s new book Devotion has just come out (from Yale University Press) to mixed reviews. Here‘s Michael Lindgren’s review in The Washington Post .Here‘s Megan Volpert at Pop Matters. The book is an expanded version (though not so expanded) of her 2016 Winham-Campbell Lecture at Yale (for a section of that lecture – see here)
Grant Hart, drummer, vocalist and songwriter, who died a little over a week ago, on William Burroughs from an interview from back in 2000 for The Onion AV Club:
Allen Ginsberg in China is our focus this weekend.
Allen and China – great news! -.a new (first-time!) edition of his Collected Poems is due out very soon in that country (hopefully in November) – translated and edited by the young Ming Hui and published by Shanghai ’99.…..
“For the first time since the crucifixion, there was a total lunar eclipse on the night of the seder in 1968. That apparently happened also on the night of the Last Supper and we were all aware of this. We had a seder near Duboce Park. [San Francisco] The Hells Angels were there and the Diggers were there. My son asked the Four Questions, and…asked Allen Ginsberg [as tradition … Read More