Saturday May 20 (Robert Creeley)

Robert Creeley would have been ninety-one tomorrow, May 21st (he died in 2005). In honor of the great man and his birthday, we present, this weekend, another transcription from the extraordinary Bay Area Writers series (from back in 1975-76) – (see also here and here) – Rudimentary recording equipment, so there are, understandably, a few technical problems (particularly at the beginning and the end of tape one (the main tape) but.. what a treasure! , what a remarkable record!

RC: I’m curious, like.. I gather some of you.. that this is a class for some of you and some … Read More

Robert Creeley’s “The Messengers” (for Allen)

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[Robert Creeley and Allen Ginsberg, ca 1965]

More Robert Creeley. Last week we featured his reading of his poem dedicated in memoriam to Allen, “When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer..” – Here‘s another, earlier one, (the reading is from the legendary 1965 Berkeley Poetry Conference).

 

THE MESSENGERS

The huge dog, Broderick, and

the smile of the quick eyes

of Allen light a kind world.

 

Their feelings under some distance

of remote  skin, must touch,

wondering at what impatience does

 

block them. So little love

to share among so many, so much

yellow-orange hair on the one,… Read More

Creeley on Ginsberg – (“When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer…”)

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[Robert Creeley (1926-2005)]

Following the couple of recent  posts on the great American poet, Robert Creeley – here and here here’s Creeley’s poem/elegy for Allen – “When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer…” (from his 2003 volume, If I Were Writing This)

“WHEN I HEARD THE LEARN’D ASTRONOMER…”

A bitter twitter,

flitter,

of birds,

in evening’s

settling,

a reckoning,

beckoning

someone’s getting

some sad news,

the birds gone to nest,

to roost

in the darkness,

asking no improvident questions,

none singing,

no hark,

no lark,

nothing in the quiet dark.

 

Begun with like hypothesis,

arms, head, shoulders.

with … Read More

Robert Creeley – 2

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[Robert Creeley – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg – © Estate of Allen Ginsberg  – caption: “Robert Creeley, one-eyed poet at Naropa Institute poetics commune house, summer session, July 1984, he sat patient with me across supper table before his lecture, old friend”]

AG: Where were we? Oh Creeley? So Creeley.  (Robert) Creeley. Each syllable is a thought. That’s a good way of (describing it), actually. That’s an aphorism for Creeley – “One thought per syllable” (in the sense that each syllable seems to be like a new thought) – opposite from my kind of writing, or, say, somebody else, … Read More

Robert Creeley – 1

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[Allen Ginsberg and Robert Creeley. Photograph by Laure Leber]

continuing with transcription of  Allen Ginsberg’s Basic Poetics class from February 1980 (Feb 27) at the Naropa Institute  

AG: Who’s got the right time?…  So, last time we were.. so..  what you were just doing before was Ted (Berrigan), Ted’s class. How many of you are in Ted’s class? So what happens?, There’s a half an hour wait in between? Is that a heavy shot to go through, two long hour- and-a-half (classes) in the evening. How does that work out? I was wondering. Are we creating.. (putting) too much on, … Read More

Adonais

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[Sketch of the poet John Keats, July  1819,  by Charles Armitage Brown]

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

Rose-Cheek’d Laura’s Centrality

[Ezra Pound, Basil Bunting, Louis Zukofsky, Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, William Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore]

AG: So you’ll find in the twentieth-century,  (Ezra) Pound, (Basil) Bunting, (Louis) ZukofskyRobert Duncan, some of (Robert) Creeley, all derive from this poem or from the practice of this poem. It’s sort of like the secret inner measure of their work, the kind of attempt that Campion is getting into here or the territory he’s getting into. And that was related to the idea of William Carlos Williams of finding a measure that would be an American … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 157

[Allen Ginsberg by Dan Bratton (with digital enhancement by Steve Silberman]

New books from the University of California Press noted on the horizon (we’ll be saying more about them all in the weeks ahead) – Robert Duncan’s  Collected Essays and Other Prose and Collected Later Poems and Plays (the introduction to which by the editor, Peter Quartermain can be read here) and (eagerly-awaited) Robert Creeley’s Selected Letters (for those of you who missed it, here‘s a taste from last October’s Poetry magazine – Rod Smith’s introductory note’s here – there’s also a glimpse, some further early missives, … Read More

Denise Levertov

 

 

The Collected Poems of Denise Levertov are now available in a handsome one-volume edition edited by Paul A Lacey, with an introduction by Eavan Boland, published by New Directions.  Here, from her reading in Los Angeles, in 1993, for the Lannan Foundation,  are six poems, “Settling”, “Open Secret”.”Tragic Error”, “The Danger Moment”, “A Gift” and “For Those Whom the Gods Love Less”. Here, in an audio over-view from The Poetry Foundation, are recordings of several poems recorded in 1971 at the Library of Congress, “At The Justice Department, November 15, 1969″,”What My House Would

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Spontaneous Poetics – 81 (Form Is Just An Extension of Content)

AG: ..In this case, the form is no more than an extension of content. Got that? Form is no more than an extension of the content? Does everybody understand that in this case? Does anybody not understand that. In this case, the form is no more than an extension of the.. Larry Fagin: I don’t understand that and I want a complete explanation. I’ve never understood it and I don’t believe you! AG: You don’t understand it in this case? Larry Fagin: No Student: Oh, yeah AG: I was talking about this case. I was talking about this … Read More