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
MR: What’s a nice Jewish boy like you doing with all of the Christian metaphors and analogies?. It’s just “Christ,” “Jesus, “”the Church”, “Crucifixtion”…
AG: Well, what I’ve been talking (except to the reference to St John of the Cross) has mostly been formal Buddhist dharma, which is a perception of the Universe as transient, in the sense of.. The basic.. first basic thing is – all the constituents of being are transitory. So that’s why I’ve … Read More
[Allen begins reading from “Sad Dust Glories”] – “When I sit/I see dust motes in my eye/Ponderosa needles trembling/shine green/in blue sky./Wind sound passes thru/ pine tops, distant/windy waves flutter back/oak leaves/and leave thenm still/like my mind/which forgets why the blue jay across the wood’s clearing/squwks, in mid-afternoon.”
MR: Welcome to “I Believe” and Allen Ginsberg. Allen, I suspect that a lot … Read More
Today is an historic day. The 60th anniversary of the landmark Free Speech verdict. On this day in 1957, Judge Clayton Horn declared that “Howl” was not obscene.
As he announced:
“I do not believe that “Howl” is without redeeming social importance. The first part of “Howl” presents a picture of a nightmare world; the second part is an indictment of those elements in modern society destructive of the best qualities of human nature; such elements are predominantly identified as materialism, conformity, and mechanization leading toward war. The third part presents a picture of an individual who is … Read More
AG: So I would say now move on to.. 1956- moving on from 1956 to 1976. I have a series of poems which will require some music also – “Father Death Blues” – if we can get together on the stage –
My father died in 1976 in midsummer and I wrote a series of poems while he was alive because I spent a lot of time with him during the previous..during the winter that he was wasting, He was quite old and not in pain because it was a … Read More
Allen Ginsberg in China is our focus this weekend.
Allen and China – great news! -.a new (first-time!) edition of his Collected Poems is due out very soon in that country (hopefully in November) – translated and edited by the young Ming Hui and published by Shanghai ’99.…..
“For the first time since the crucifixion, there was a total lunar eclipse on the night of the seder in 1968. That apparently happened also on the night of the Last Supper and we were all aware of this. We had a seder near Duboce Park. [San Francisco] The Hells Angels were there and the Diggers were there. My son asked the Four Questions, and…asked Allen Ginsberg [as tradition … Read More
“In 1965, the U.S. troop level in Vietnam exceeded 500,000. Allen Ginsberg became perhaps the most flamboyant of many literary opponents to the war. Bearded, beat and outspokenly homosexual, his appeal was great to the young and already converted. (Pull out your old copy of Planet News (City Lights, 1968) which contains “Wichita Vortex Sutra“). Allen’s attack was on the conscience of the government and the capitalist … Read More