Allen Ginsberg 1974 San Francisco tv Interview – “I Believe” – part 2

continuing from yesterday – (transcript of Allen Ginsberg and Father Mike S Riley’s 1974 conversation picks up approximately sixteen-and-a-half minutes in)

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 Ginsberg 1974 San Francisco tv Interview – “I Believe”

Continuing our spotlight on some of the video treasures in Stanford University’s recently-digitalized archive – Allen on San Francisco television (KPIX) in 1974, interviewed by Father Mike S Riley on his inter-faith tv show, “I Believe”

[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

60th Anniversary of the Howl Verdict

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

Allen Ginsberg – Richland College reading – part 2

Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 Richland College reading – continuing from yesterday

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

Ginsberg and China

[Allen Ginsberg, Yangtze River Gorge, China, 1984]

 [Allen Ginsberg: Selected Poems –1947-1997, (Chinese translation by Wen Chu-An)  (2000)]

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.…..

There’s, a little Chinese background.

From our friend Jim Cohn‘s estimable web-site, The Museum of American Poetics: “In 1982, Allen Ginsberg was a member of a U.S. Writers’ Delegation that hosted … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 331

[Allen Ginsberg, 1968.  Photo: Larry Keenan Jr.]

More Ginsberg memories (see last week) – Judy Goldhaft, director of The Planet Drum Foundation, recollects an unusual seder:

“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

Guillaume Apollinaire – (Ombre)

Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918)

A guest-posting today from our friend (and erstwhile long-time upstairs-neighbor of Allen’s in New York) poet, John Godfrey.

Today, August 26th, is the great Guillaume Apollinaire‘s birthday

“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

Diane di Prima continues

[The Seven Joys of Mary (1480), Hans Memling (c.1433-1495) ]

Diane di  Prima – continuing from yesterday

DD: Okay, part five of this poem [ “Loba‘]  was going to be –  [(it) makes me nervous when people take notes] – part five was going to be kind of.. was going to be a study of the Mary legend, you know. based on… partly started of from a Hans Memling painting – The Seven Joys of The Virgin – But before Mary showed up all these other ladies showed up first and I did a whole lot of other … Read More

Buddhism and The Beats (Ginsberg 1993 – Q & A)

Following on from last week’s “Buddhists and The Beats” video -the Q & A, the final segment.

Do we have time for questions.?

AG: Yes, sure

Q: You said that your poetry is a practice as well, you meditate every day? do you use poetry as a practice?

AG: It’s a form of practice. I sit now about forty minutes to an hour every day. There have been long periods where I’ve sat for an hour, two hours, every day, and there have been long periods where I have been on retreats where I would sit all day, … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 324

For all you sticklers for detail out there, Sunday July 17, Allen’s appearance with Sopwith Camel, was in 1966. The following year (1967) found him in London, speaking at Steven Abrams‘ “Legalize Pot Rally”. Barry Miles was inevitably there. There weren’t too many classic moments of the “Sixties when Miles wasn’t  present!  Miles’ 2002  memoir, “In The Sixties” just got re-issued in a profuse illustrated edition – see here.

And speaking of the ‘Sixties counter-culture in England, look out also for this – (and the resulting exhibition – “The British Underground Press of the SixtiesRead More