Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 311

[Hal Chase, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, Morningside Heights, next to Columbia College, New York City, Winter 1944-45. photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

The Best Minds of My Generation – A Literary History of the Beats – Bill Morgan’s masterly collection of Allen’s teaching wisdom   (from Naropa and Brooklyn College) appears today (official publication-day) from Grove Press (Grove Atlantic).

Here’s a few lines from Anne Waldman‘s lucid introduction:

“Allen Ginsberg devotedly, and with a loving perseverance, incubated these lectures on his primary literary Beat colleagues during his first teaching job at … Read More

Ben Jonson (“Slow Slow Fresh Fount..”)

AG:  So what do we want now? – (Ben Jonson’s) “Slow slow fresh fount” ,  Some of you here, What did you make of that? – Page two six-six – a couple of really pretty pieces of cadence (here) now.. I’ve never examined this song very carefully, except  a couple of times it’s really struck me as being real..  just totally lovely music..

“Slow slow, fresh fount, keep time with my salt tears;/Yet slower yet, O faintly, gentle springs!/List to the heavy part the music bears” – So it’s all about music, actually – the” division” here (“Woe weeps out … Read More

Hum Bom – (Bono & Juan Felipe Herrera)

Sadly Allen’s “Hum Bom!” is all too pertinent and prescient  ( “Whydja bomb?/We didn’t wanna bomb!/Whydja bomb?/We didn’t wanna bomb!”) – Lisa New, creator and host of Poetry in America, a new poetry intiative from Harvard, has just released  the video above.   – U2’s Bono reciting the poem and US poet-laureate Juan Felipe Herrera quoting and discussing it.  Bono is, of course, a long time fan of Allen’s – see here – and Herrera too (we would have loved to hear Herrera’s reading)  – but “Hum Bom!” is not an easy poem to read  (despite seeming … Read More

Allen Ginsberg on David Letterman Show, 1982

Allen’s late-night American tv appearances – We’ve already featured a previous one (from May 10, 1994 on the Conan O’Brien tv show) –  here’s another appearance, the previous decade, (from “Late Night With David Letterman” – this program was broadcast on June 10, 1982, on NBC)

Memorable is Letterman’s shocking confession that he hadn’t actually read On The Road !  Also, we vividly recall Allen taking up sixty valuable seconds of network time, with a discomforting (for Letterman and for NBC) on-air meditation  (Letterman getting increasingly antsy) – it seems that segment is missing from this version. Perhaps someone … Read More

Ezra Pound Cantos – LXXXI – 1

[Henry Lawes (1595-1662), English composer] – “Lawes and Jenkyns guard thy rest”

Allen Ginsberg, on Ezra Pound in The Cantos….

AG: Now, look what Ezra Pound did with this. [sic- continuing with metrics]  Could.. this is.. just like the other one that you went over with Stanley (Lombardo) last term – “drop drop drop drop” (Ben Jonson’s “slow, slow fresh Fount“) – it’s one of the great classic ear pieces. So, in The Pisan Cantos, referring to the progress of English poetry, (a page that I read last term, when we sort of…  prefatory to going … Read More

Ben Jonson – (“Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes”)

AG:   To (Ben)  Jonson. What I wanted to get onto was page two-sixty, “The Triumph of Charis“.. oh no, before that, we did that, those two little epitaphs, on page two fifty-six, two fifty-seven – and, on the way out, (Ted) Berrigan reminded me of a poem he likes particularly, “On Gut”  – “Gut eats all day and lechers all the night..” – page two fifty-six – patting his belly and preaching on gut – “Gut eats all day and lechers all the night;/So all his meat he tasteth over twice;/Andm striving so to double his … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 305

ag-kaddish

Hot news from Real Gone Music – reissues of two essential Beat albums (limited editions in vinyl) – Allen’s classic 1966 recording of Kaddish and the Jack Kerouac-Steve Allens recording Poetry For The Beat Generation, (Jack’s debut as a recording artist).

Both are officially due out April 7, but pre-ordering will be available and details will be announced soon.

For further information on both these records – see this comprehensive article –  here 

jack-k-album

& Just out from the Cambridge University Press, and available in paperback – The Cambridge Companion to The Beats – edited by Steve BellettoRead More

Remembering Ray Bremser

Allen Ginsberg on the above image:

Ray Bremser master poet returned to New York after eight years’ absence wrinkle-faced as before, to attend my “Rainbow Body Reading Series” at Brooklyn College & same night read at St. Mark’s Church Poetry Project. Next evening we did two poetry readings shows together for jazz-club Village Vanguard anniversary week celebrations. He left early next morning by bus, for safety from drink, to his upstate New York Utica apartment. Saw him this way the night before all these poetry scenes, at my house, February 21, 1995″

This poem (“Blood”) was recorded in … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 302

jack-kerouac-e-neal-cassady

[Neal Cassady and Jack  Kerouac]

[Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac – The Joan Anderson Letter via Heritage Auctions]

The legendary Joan Anderson letter is back in the news again. “The seminal piece of literature of the Beat Generation”, Neal Cassady’s epic letter to Jack Kerouac, which, for almost sixty years, was thought missing and then was miraculously rediscovered and put up for auction (only to, surprisingly, fail to reach its asking price) is up for auction again.

The auction date is March 8. Bidding begins approximately February 17th (next week). Full details may be found at Heritage Read More

Robert Creeley – 2

creeley

[Robert Creeley – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg – © Estate of Allen Ginsberg  – caption: “Robert Creeley, one-eyed poet at Naropa Institute poetics commune house, summer session, July 1984, he sat patient with me across supper table before his lecture, old friend”]

AG: Where were we? Oh Creeley? So Creeley.  (Robert) Creeley. Each syllable is a thought. That’s a good way of (describing it), actually. That’s an aphorism for Creeley – “One thought per syllable” (in the sense that each syllable seems to be like a new thought) – opposite from my kind of writing, or, say, somebody else, … Read More