AG: [reading James Shirley’s “A Dirge”] – “The glories of our blood and state/Are shadows, not substantial things;/There is no armor against fate;/Death lays his icy hand on kings./Scepter and crown/Must tumble down/And in the dust be equal made/With the poor crooked scythe and spade./ Some men with swords may reap the field/And plant fresh laurels where they kill,/But their strong nerves at last must yield;/They tame but one … Read More
AG: Then the next death poem is this great thing by James Shirley which we have in our agenda, page three-hundred, which… this poem is one of my top ten in the English language for really beautiful cadence, for sharpness and abruptness and clarity of idea, and for interesting stanza form. And it seems to be a song from a book by.. I’ve forgot what Shirley’s play was.. I have it somewhere.. somebody look it up, find out where it comes from – (page) four-twenty-seven in Auden, [the Auden-Pearson anthology] he’d give the provenance… [Allen discovers … Read More
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