Miltonic Psalm Notations

[ Portrait of John Milton –  (circa 1803) – by William Blake]

Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 Basic Poetics class (at Naropa) – continuing from here

AG: So, the next experiment I did (was) with Miltonics – Milton. This is my Miltonics. It was pretty sick Miltonics.  Because what it is,  is a total – 1949 -it’s a.. I think I was either coming or..  going to-and-fro from.. Bedlam – New York State Psychiatric Institute, and I was convinced that there was a supernatural consciousness that I had to achieve and I was not achieving it, and that I wouldn’t achieve … Read More

More Robert Duncan – 2

Robert Duncan at Novato, California, 1976,  continuing from – here

AG: Well, lets now for… to move onto a few more poems from this book [Bending the Bow]. It’s the first book also in which the contemplation of the meaning of our American experience emerges very strongly and it’s nice in our solemn bicentennial year (1976 (sic) – Duncan is speaking in 1976),   I haven’t got an American flag hanging in the background, But if poets came out roaring when the inequities of America appeared at full blast in that Vietnamese War, it was not because they weren’t American, it … Read More

More on Metrics

[Allen Ginsberg’s classroom hand-out – “A Synopsis of Metrical Systems”]
continuing from here
Allen’s pedagogical insistence on quantative prosody, on the minutae of classical prosody, was something he came back to again and again with his students at Naropa  (see, for example  – one of many examples – here). In transcription, it makes, perhaps, for some somewhat tedious transcript – to hear the subtle and various distinctions he’s making, it really becomes necessary to listen closely to the audio (happily, here available). Allen does employ here a somewhat unique teaching method to lighten things up – … Read More

Kerouac’s Idea of Visions

[Visions of Gerard (1963) – Jack Kerouac]

AG: [referring to an earlier Student poem]   …the silence of dusk.. and.. the lights going on in the courtyard. See, it was the signal of the lights going on in the courtyard that made.. that locked it in that it was dusk.  That’s why it’s pink light, that’s why these people were doing what they were doing (and then it was because the sun was going down,. the wind rising, and the steel cord was flapping against the flagpole).  This is, you see,  the uncanny suggestion, of, like, the whole atmosphere of … Read More

Comprehensive Reading

Edmund Spenser (1552-1599)

AG: Edmund Spenser is a colossus, and he’s so big that I think we’ll go around him Except, maybe, one or two, one or two little short things – the Epithalamion – a big Leviathan poem here, marriage poem. What I would suggest is that you go home and read it. It’s got a great stanza form, it’s got a great rhythmic form. So what we might do (here) is read just the first and last stanzas, just to get the stanzaic form get a taste..  Page 162 – I’m sorry..

Well, he’s very brilliant in, you … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 105 – The Blues Intro – 3 ( & Come All Ye’s)

[“Crazy Blues” – Mamie Smith, (1920) – “the first recording of an African-America singing the blues”]

AG: Well it was the dream, it was the possibility of actually saying what I thought. Well, in any kind of poetry, like in “Howl”, or “Kaddish”, or later poems, but also in the Blues form. since, especially since, there’s a tradition with songs like that, of expressing your most private feelings with humor and melancholy – so that kind of song has always been a vehicle for some kind of outlaw feeling – and there’s also a genre of ballads, which are Outlaw … Read More