A real treat this weekend – with gratitude to Robyn Brentano and students from the NYU Ethnographic Film Program – “Buddhism and the Beats.”. “In 1993, Allen Ginsberg spoke to a gathering of students of the Tibetan Buddhist monk, Lobsang Samten, about the impact of Buddhist thought and practice on himself, the Beat writers, and American culture at large”. The full hour-and-a-half tape is transcribed below (continuing tomorrow, and with the Q & A session to be featured here next weekend)
AG: Then a similar thing to Shelley was a very great poet at this particular colossal rhyme, the colossal breath, heroic or colossal breath, I guess, is Adonais (do folks know that? Adonais? – how many have read through Adonais? – how many have not? – Adonais – well, that’s a great one. That’s his elegy on the death of poor old John Keats, (it’s on (page) 685, well the verses I want are on 685). That’s really best… You notice it begins on page … Read More
AG: Another person who.. (we’re getting back to breath now) is Shelley’s “Ode To The West Wind” (in this book on page 669). How many have read Shelley’s “Ode To The West Wind” here? How many have not? How many have not read Shelley’s “Ode To The West Wind”? How many have heard it read aloud ? [show of hands] – Okay . And how many have read it aloud themselves? – Well, it’d be interesting.. Let me try reading it aloud once and then we’ll all read it aloud. It’ll be fun. But the only … Read More
Gregory Corso: Well, you know, like, it’s almost a mental dictatorship, you know, because you can’t get off the highway. To go to another restaurant or something, you have to keep on the turnpike. And so they’re all similar. And it looks like a big bathroom as soon as you go in. And nothing is moving but the Coca-Cola machines and the cocoa machines, just turning, great symbols turning, great undersea silence.
[Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), fair copy of the first forty-two lines of his “Ode to the West Wind“ (1819), in the collection of the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, England]
Allen Ginsberg’s “Expansive Poetics” lecture continues – “Ode to the West Wind”
AG: The other thing is (Shelley’s) the “Ode to the West Wind”. How many know that? How many have read that? How many have not read the “Ode to the West Wind” by Percy Bysshe Shelley? Never? Well, that’s an example, I must say of TV generation.
Student: TV generation?
AG: Television generation. [Allen addresses … Read More
Student: [on Shelley’s “Hymn To Intellectual Beauty”] – The thing I had trouble with, (with) stuff like that, is wondering if I should (be), like, listening to every word, understanding what’s being said.
AG: In this case.. Well, the first thing is, no, you don’t need to understand it. The most important thing to get is the most important element, which is the rhythmical cadence – the cadence – to get the amazing cadence of dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-datta-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-duh-dah.
AG: “I vowed that I would dedicate my powers/To thee and thine.” – Listen to it just as cadence.
… Read More