Friday’s Weekly Round-Up -346

[Allen Ginsberg in the studio, recording William Blake’s “Songs of Innocence and Experience”]

Amanda Petrusich, writing in The New Yorker

“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

Allen Ginsberg in 1982 on The Vern and Evelyn Show

The last of our spotlighted videos from the Stanford Allen Ginsberg Archives is a strange one – Allen on a cable tv improvised-comedy show –  Leon Varjian’s “The Vern & Evelyn Show”  (broadcast out of Madison, Wisconsin (WISC Cable 4) back in 1982).  Allen appears in three segments, in addition to a framing skit where he is jokingly misperceived (since he’s “world-famous”) as the author of the much-loved (and corny) baseball poem Casey at The Bat

The first segment (approximately three-and-a-quarter minutes in) is a spontaneous collaboration with Varjian, “Dueling Poets”,  (parodying “the Dueling Banjos scene” from the 1972 film … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 344

We promised we’d have word for you, and now it’s finally out! A definitive Chinese edition of the Collected Poems 1947-1997, from Chinese publishing house Shanghai 99  has just hit stores in China – a stunning three-volume set, with translations by Hui Ming.   More details on the publisher’s Chinese language web-site- here.  (and more details from us in the weeks ahead)

More news (Beat Generation news) :

[Two (undated) images by Jack Kerouac – “Untitled” and “Raven” – from the upcoming MA*GA Museum, “Beat Painting” show – courtesy ANSA]

Jack Kerouac’s Beat Painting show opens on Sunday at The Read More

William Blake’s Birthday

William Blake was born today, two hundred and sixty years ago, in London, England

We salute the great, inspired, poet, painter, visionary.

Here’s poet, scholar, literary maverick, Iain Sinclair, for the British Library, on an essential quality of the man – William Blake’s radicalism

[Blake’s image of Albion, accompanying the words Albion rose from where he labourd at the Mill with Slaves/Giving himself for the Nations hedanc’d thedance of Eternal Death]

and here’s Sinclair speaking of Blake’s spiritual visions

[The Ghost of A Flea – William Blake (c.1820)]

Allen Ginsberg and William Blake – we have covered the relationship … Read More

Original Emotions/Archetypal Rhythms

Student: Would it do any good to know what these rhythms are if you don’t have the capability of voicing that feeling or that emotion that ends up being one of these.,
AG: Well, I think that these cadences and these emotions are natural, so I don’t think that anybody has the problem of feeling them, and, in private, voicing them, (either to themselves, or to another person). I think everybody..  I think they’re in the range of everybody’s emotional spectrum. You may not feel so about it but you’ve got that delicacy,  Sure. Don’t you? – … Read More

“The Time of Composition”

 
[Rainer Maria Gerhardt (1927-1954)]
[Ted Berrigan (1934-1983)]
 
[Charles Olson (1910-1970)]
Student: Can I ask you a little bit of an off-the-wall question?
AG: Yes.. Why don’t we leave this time open now for just general…
Student: In our (Ted) Berrigan class  tonight, he said this comment that,  “The time of the composition is the time of the composition”…. (I’ve been trying to understand that)  and I’ve been trying all night.  And he says “Well, you should know that with every poem that you read, (before you start out).
AG: The time of  the composition is the time of the … Read More

Pound, Waller and The Wonder Breath

[“Oh!” ( the mouth open-wide, a “wonder-breath” – “Ah! – “Go!” – (Allen Ginsberg & Peter Orlovsky re Ezra Pound & Edmund Waller) – 1979 – Photograph by Desdemone Bardin]
AG: Well, if you..   I ‘d like to read that whole thing [Ezra Pound’s “Envoi“] once in..  just through, to get the variance from one stanza to another, because it seems that it’s surging, a very delicate surge from stanza to stanza that really concludes in a nice way – and it’s great music. In fact, why don’t we do it together?   this one.. … why don’t … Read More

Pound and Waller (“Go dumb-born book”)

[Ezra Pound]
[Edmund Waller]
AG: Then (Ezra) Pound (on page one thousand and six). He thinks it [Waller’s “Song”} ‘s so good that it’s his high-water mark, so he wants a... And, in Pound, it’s amazing, it’s one of the few cases in the history of English poetry where somebody made an imitation that’s really just as good as the original, because Pound’s “Envoi” of 1919 is actually as beautiful, I think, as the Waller [“Go, lovely rose] –
So “Go dumb-born book’ – but was..  it.. you know..  Pound’s specialty was this long.. was quantitative meter,
Read More

More on Metrics – 4

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
Read More

More on Metrics – 3

AG: Well, it’s not that that you need to be able to understand it [Greek prosody] to write a poem. It’s not perverting your speech to get those rhythms. Rather, it is that speech does have those rhythms, and that you can follow the cadences with those rhythms, that when we were taught in drama-school and high-school primary rhythms, it was very rare that anything was taught beyond the four variants of iamb, trochee, anapest and dactyl.  – that seemed to be the range of  the English ear, or awareness of rhythm, or American high-school awareness of rhythm, … Read More