USA Poetry – Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti, 1965

We’ve been featuring, these last few months, video from the Stanford University Archives (a number of intriguing videos of Allen reside there, though curiously, not this one – Allen and Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1965, from the ground-breaking WNET television series, USA Poetry, directed, as they all were, by the remarkable poet and filmmaker, Richard O Moore).

We’ll be featuring more from USA Poetry in the weeks ahead. But to start off with, Allen (filmed on two occasions, July 18 and December 14, 1965 – the broadcast went out the week of March 7 1966) .

The video begins with … 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

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 342

[Paul Blackburn and company, from the Paul Blackburn papers, Mandeville Special Collections Library, University of California, San Diego]

More big news, archival news, the Paul Blackburn audio collection, long in the safe-keeping of the Archive for New Poetry at the University of California, San Diego, the great trove of New York City poetry recordings (“the most comprehensive oral history of the New York poetry scene between the late 1950s and 1970.”, in the words of Blackburn editor and scholar Edith Jarolim), has finally been digitalized and is now available on line.

The first release of this collection includes … Read More

Allan and Allen’s Complaint

Another video from the Stanford Archives this weekend – Nam June Paik and Shigeko Kuboto’s 1982 experimental video  “Allan ‘n’ Allen’s Complaint” (the twin subjects are Allan Kaprow and Allen Ginsberg), both sons of patriarchal fathers. The film explores that complex relationship.

“People are always talking about Jewish mother and nobody talks about Jewish father.”

AG: (So perhaps the father) is more withdrawn,  more vulnerable, less pushy in his emotions and relationship

AK: And there’s another side to it, (and) that is, the father tends to be the one who openly suffers, or is consecrated to some kind of suffering … Read More

Edmund Bolton’s Palinode

[“As vanisheth the light-blown bubble ever…..’]

AG: We’re way off the subject. ..which was.. there was a really great poem I wanted to lay out, which I put out,  by Henry King, (which is like the “Palinode“.) – We’ll get back to this (the “Palinode”) –  I mean, has anybody got some heavy thing that they want to continue it on?

Edmund Bolton’s “Palinode” (on page two-seventy), which sets forth a great theme that recurs through all English poetry and also a great logical way of handling the theme – and I   would like it because it’s … Read More

On The Composition of Haiku

[Heaven-Earth-Man Calligraphy]

continued from yesterday,   1980 Naropa classroom –  Student is refering to another student’s writing that Allen has just analyzed

Student:  For a while there, it seeemed like, like she was saying, it seemed like,  I don’t know how many syllables there were, but they seemed they were pared down, to the length of haiku,  almost

AG: The way she did it? – Yeah.  Yeah, but it didn’t work. It was sort of like awkward haiku(s) and no single one of them made a big deal except maybe, “the rhythmic twang of the steel cord slapping against the flagpole”,  … Read More

Composition and Condensation – 3 (Classroom Notation)

[“Rhythmic twang of steel cords slapping against the flagpole”]

continuing from yesterday

AG: Then, the other thing we came to, she [sic] had a poem that was a discrete series of code-word observations, one after another in a row, and it sounded, like, too choppy, or much like she was doing an exercise sketch of the ….”One lady lifts up her big leg over the…or big boot, and takes it off” – [ to Student] – What are the three images? – What’s the first one? there was…

Student: “Holding the attention”,,

AG: What?

Student: “Holding the attention..riding a bicycle, … Read More

Hart Crane’s Hurricane

[“After The Hurricane”  (I938)  Marsden Hartley (1877-1943)]

AG: If Shelley’s “Ode to The West Wind” brings the breath theme to the height of inspiration, or, you know, some great tempest of inspiration, this brings it up to a hurricane, in terms of the emotions, the imagery, and also the energy used to pronounce it and the meters used   (and, as I said, the kinds of meters used are the meters that are used, that were used, at the height of classical Greek tragedy, at the moment of revelation). So,  “The Hurricane”,  by Hart Crane written in 1927, one of … Read More

Peter Orlovsky Arrives Late For Class

[Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky. Photo: Herbert Rusche]

continuing from yesterday

AG: Aw! Come on!

Peter Orlovsky : I’m sweating. I had to go to Casey High – all over the place , I had a chair for you. I had to rush here because I thought you were..

AG: You went to Casey?

Peter Orlovsky: Yes, I went to Casey looking for you. I thought you were at Yeshe House!      I stopped off here before I thought of going to Yeshe House. You didn’t tell me the class was here. No one told me the class was here.   … Read More

Quit Speed – Allen Ginsberg’s 1967 Plea to Peter Orlovsky

August 10 – Fifty years ago today. Allen in London, writing to his beloved, Peter (Orlovsky) in New York City, warning him, pleading with him, about amphetamines (“meth”) – “I’d rather be with you than without you. Stop meth, cool everything, come over here”

Dear Peter,

Irving (Rosenthal) wrote and Barbara (Rubin) wrote, said you were on meth, then, thinking house was afire, window moldings bugged or electrified, etc, and had begun taking them out . I don’t know how far you are into that thought process, but I am worried about the house, my manuscripts, etc. I can’t … Read More