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

Allen Ginsberg Reading at St Marks Poetry Project 1977

[Allen Ginsberg and Robert Lowell, St Mark’s Church, February 23, 1977. Photo: Martin Wechselblatt]

We featured one, from the extraordinary trove of recordings of Allen readings, last week, from PennSound (from the Robert Creeley collection – 1971 at Intersection, San Francisco). Here‘s another, six years later- from the St Mark’s Poetry Project in New York. The occasion was a now-legendary coupling of Allen Ginsberg and Robert Lowell (it was on this occasion that Lowell was memorably heckled by Gregory Corso). Allen reads a variety of works, referencing his recent visit to Australia, his Vajrayana Buddhist Read More

Robert Herrick – “To The Virgins To Make Much of Time”

Three Graces – (detail from The Primavera (or The Allegory of Spring)) by Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), in the collection of the Uffizi Gallery, Florence

AG: So therefore the next poem [to Student] – you want to read that please? – Gather.. To The Virgins! – “To The Virgins, To Make Much of Time

Student: “To The Virgins, To Make Much of Time”

AG: How many people have read this poem before? – only five? six? – okay, half the class. This is the poem in the English language that everybody knows as the lightest, brightest, sweetest, nicest … Read More

Gay Pride (Allen Ginsberg – Out Since The ‘Fifties)

[Plaque for Allen Ginsberg in San Francisco’s Castro, on the sidewalk, on the Rainbow Honor Walk]

Gay Pride – Allen Ginsberg –  LGBT hero –

Today, celebrating the day,  a little fugitive footage – queer tv – from Network Q’s,  “Out Across America” –  episode 35, from  September 1994 – (for the rest of this particular episode see here).

Filmmaker Jerry Aronson is interviewed, on a sunny day in Boulder, about his film “The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg,”   Allen makes a number of appearances.

Producer-director, David  Surber begins: “Our cinema feature this month is part … Read More

Bob Dylan’s Mother

[Bob Dylan, alongside his mother, Beatrice (“Beatty”) Rutman, at the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, Washington DC,  1997]

AG: [speaking in 1980, to his Naropa students] – I had supper…  I had lunch with Bob Dylan’s mother  (It was funny ..). She was very plump. She goes in a house with wall-to-wall carpeting and plates on the wall, and little gimmicks and geegaws, and bowls that she picked up from her travels to Las Vegas, (or) Scottsdale, Arizona, where her daughter is… {editorial note -Allen is confused here, Dylan doesn’t have a sister, just a younger brother, Read More

Thomas Carew – (“Ask Me No More”)

[Thomas Carew (1595-1640)]

AG: And (Thomas) Carew has one of the prettiest cadences of repeated.. it’s like a.. it’s a very beautiful cadence, for the first line of page three-oh-one – A song – It’s (the cadence) –  da da-da da  da  da-da da – da  da-da da  da  da-da da – Da da-da da da – da-da da. It’s just really nice, that. “Ask me no more where Jove bestows,/When June is past, the fading rose;/For in your beauty’s orient deep/These flowers, as in their causes, sleep/ .Ask me no more whither do stray/The golden atoms of the day;/For … Read More