“The membrane between poetry and“song,” as we think of it in 2017, has always been flimsy and permeable; once all poems were songs. Ginsberg’s weird, wobbly singing [in “The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience” CD] is sometimes dissonant, but it gets at something essential to Blake’s work. It’s as good a narration of the phases of a life as I can think of..”
Might we recommend, as a holiday gift, this holiday…?
The re-release of Allen’s William Blake … Read More
A passionate letter today from 1965 (at the height of the Vietnam War), Allen, in San Francisco, on this day (November 29), writing to his father. The naivety, indeed myopia, on his father’s side exasperated Allen (the simplicity of the goad that he was a “Communist” that the “Commies infiltrated and used guerilla tactics to ravage and despoil and murder countless peaceful S(outh) Vietnamese”, that somehow an evil manipulating Communist China was the true force behind things and that America, far from being an aggressor, was somehow welcomed there as “protector”. “I’m not playing that game”, Allen declares .… Read More
Continuing with our on-going feature of videos from the recently-digitalized Stanford Archives – today a tv appearance from 1985, on “New England Today” (on the occasion of the publication of Collected Poems 1947-1980)
Interviewer: My guest right now is Allen Ginsberg and he has written a number of poems and this is a big book if you like poetry, a big book of Collected Poems from 1947 to 1980, and, actually, this is your whole life in these poems, isn’t it Allen?
AG: Yes, everything I’ve written in poetry for thirty-three years, with profuse illustrations, numerous notes at the … Read More
Ezra Pound died 45 years ago today in Venice, Italy. He is buried in the Cimitero di San Michele (along with other twentieth-century icons – Sergei Diaghilev, Igor Stravinsky..)
Allen, from his recollection, of a conversation, in the restaurant of the Pensione Cici in Venice, some five years earlier:
“The intention was bad – that’s the trouble – anything I’ve done has been an accident – any good has been spoiled by my intentions – the preoccupation with irrelevant and stupid things -” Pound said this quietly, rusty voiced like an old child, looked directly in my … Read More
[The participants begin, caught in conversation, in media res]
JS: Oh. – My name is Joe Stanco and I’m talking today with Allen Ginsberg and, at the moment, we were discussing Ezra Pound who’s certainly..in fact you said, at one point, “the most important American poet since Whitman”
AG: I guess. Yeah. Well… (Because ) he had more effect … Read More