Richard Lovelace (Althea and Lucasta)

[Richard Lovelace (1617-1657)]

Allen Ginsberg, continuing his 1980 Basic Poetics class at Naropa – here

AG: Well, he lives only..  (Richard) Lovelace lives only forty years. The commentator here says,  “a life of only forty years spent in such vicissitude give little opportunity for that retirement from the world that art and scholarship require” – So, now, Lovelace has written a couple of classics, that everybody knows, by heart actually  – “To Althea From Prison” – maybe… who would like to read that? – does anybody know this poem? – Remember “Stone walls do not a prison make/Nor … Read More

Richard Lovelace

[Richard Lovelace (1617-1657)]

AG: Now we’ll find out about him..let’s see, Lovelace’s history. He was a friend of… Dick Lovelace was a friend of Jack Suckling, as you remember. Lets see now.. what is this?,.. born in Woolwich, 1618, died in Gunpowder Alley, near Shoe Lane, London, April 1658.. he was an improvisateur. “a more slovenly poet than Lovelace it would be difficult to find” (according to this editor from the nineteenth-century).

Well, here is the situation – (he has several poems about prison, which we’ll get to)

“Imprisonment from which he was suffering was brought on him

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Abraham Cowley – (“The Wish”)

 
[Abraham Cowley (1618-1667)]
AG:  Now, next we get to (Abraham)  Cowley , below, (page) three-sixty,  And the reason Cowley gets interesting is , finally, for the first time, the horrific City. enters in (as it will get increasingly, prophetically, apparent entering into the poetry.. (William) Blake will, pretty soon, (be) talking about.the opening (of the) streets of London and the “satanic mills”, and it’ll go on to the twentieth-century with “Moloch whose cities are…”  ” filled up with plutonian factories drizzling in the toilet!”) –  So here in “The Wish”, the vision the horror in the city,
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Sir John Suckling – 3

[The Wedding Dance In A Barn – Pieter Brueghel the Younger c. 1616 – oil on oak panel 74 cms x 106 cms]

AG:  Well, he [John Suckling]’s got this “Ballad Upon A Wedding (page three hundred and fifty-one), which is a long poem, probably addressed to his friend, the poet (Richard) Lovelace, (who had an equally fantastical prettiness of body and extraordinary exquisite political career)

“I Tell Thee Dick” (Richard Lovelace) – page three fifty-one) – “I tell thee, Dick, where I have been/,Where I the rarest things have seen;/Oh, things without compare!/Such sights again cannot … Read More