Cherry Blues

[Samuel Palmer – In A Shoreham Garden]

Cherry Blossom Season but we’re pretty certain that that colorful moment isn’t quite the kind of “cherry” that Allen’s talking about here.  (Plus, that  “Heart Failure” – ( “noisy Cherry got Heart Failure Blues”)  –  Old Age and Youth lying down together  (“Heart Failure & Cherry, Cherry in my bed”).  It’s one of the more obscure items from Allen’s  voluminous catalog, but, hey, why not.

CHERRY BLUES

Cherry in Boulder, Cherry in San Francisco too/Cherry Boulder. old Cherry San Francisco too/But Cherry Boulder trembles more than Seattle do.

Cherry in Seattle, Cherry … Read More

Granelli & Sompa and basic rhythms

[Photo: Jazz drummer, percussionist, Jerry Granelli]

Student: (Rhythm.. rhythms)

AG: But – wait a minute – but, if you did a little bit of work with Titos Sompa [Congolese-Californian teaching at Naropa] and [jazz-drummer] Jerry Granelli in analyzing, not analyzing, just learning, the basic Afric rhythms that they use ( you’ve heard them play, haven’t you?)

Student: (Sure).

AG: Have you heard Titos Sompa? – What are their names, Titos and..?

Student: Bemba..

AG: Bemba..  They are teaching basic African rhythms, (which are not very different from this kind of five.. five-beat rhythms – in fact, what they are … Read More

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

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 312

Great news! – Omnivore Recordings, and Pat Thomas, (who gave us last year the extraordinary The Last Word on First Blues), are issuing, as a two-CD package, Allen Ginsberg’s The Complete Songs Of Innocence And Experience,  is both a reissue of Allen’s original Blake release from 1969 on MGM, with the unreleased 1971 recording sessions that were to be Blake Volume 2.  The release will include, along with the two CDs, a booklet featuring several unseen photos, alongside revealing new interviews, conducted by Thomas himself, with the original session musicians. Release-date is June 23.  For more … Read More

More Ben Jonson (“Queen and Huntress”)

[Artemis with a hind, better known as “Diana of Versailles”. Marble, Roman artwork, Imperial Era (1st-2nd centuries CE). Found in Italy]

AG: Okay, well, the next.. next poem,  (Ben Jonson’s) “Queen and Huntress” is total silver horns, really, a meter that’s… this is, I guess, just.. this is the same rhythm as (William) Blake’s “Tyger, Tyger, basically, this is the trochaic meter (that I was pointing out here – [Allen again points to the blackboard ] – “Tyger/Tyger”, or, “Queen And/Hunt-ress”)  – Well, “Queen, and huntress, /chaste and fair” – Got that? – bomb-a bomb-a bomb-a ba –  … Read More

More on the Dochmiac

 

[Marble Mask – Ancient Greek –  (c. 1st Century BC) – from the Archaeological Museum of Athens]

Allen Ginsberg on metrics continues

Student; What’s it called?

AG: Dochmiac, the dochmiac or dochmiac meter – D-O-C-H-M-I-A-C. However, when you reverse it like this [Allen shows on the blackboard] – where the two long feet or two (stresses) come first –ba-boom-boom ba-boom-boom – you get the hypo-dochmaic . Now this is a dochmaic or dochmaic meter (in) that form, and the one that we’re using (which you’ll come to again, so you might as well find out what this is … Read More

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