Sir John Suckling – 6 ( “The Deformed Mistress”)

[The Ugly Duchess – Quentin Matsys,  c. 1513, oil on wood 64.2 cm x 45.5 cm, National Gallery, London]

Allen’s notes on John Suckling continue and conclude

AG: And then the last…  then there are two other poems that are worth checking out – “The Deformed Mistress” ( this is written by the handsomest man of his age, and the richest) – “I know there are some fools…” – (it’s like there’s a line in (W.H.) Auden –  “Tell then of witty angels who/Come only to the beasts/ Of Heirs Apparent, who prefer/ Low dives to formal feasts;/For … Read More

James Shirley – 1

[James Shirley (1596-1666)]

AG: Then the next death poem is this great thing by James Shirley which we have in our agenda, page three-hundred, which… this poem is one of my top ten in the English language for really beautiful cadence, for sharpness and abruptness and clarity of idea, and for interesting stanza form. And it seems to be a song from a book by.. I’ve forgot what Shirley’s play was.. I have it somewhere.. somebody look it up, find out where it comes from – (page) four-twenty-seven in Auden, [the Auden-Pearson anthology] he’d give the provenance… [Allen discovers … Read More

Shakespeare (Sonnet 144 and 152)

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AG: So, where do we go from there?. Here’s one that’s totally disillusioned. Sonnet 144 – It’s the one that was..later on.. (They’re) talking about the two loves, the dark lady and the boyfriend – “Two loves I have of comfort and despair” (It’s not in the book so I’m just reading it)

Two loves I have of comfort and despair, Which like two spirits do suggest me still; The better angel is a man right fair, The worser spirit a woman colour’d ill. To win me soon to hell,

{interpret “hell” as “cunt”, all through this  (or that’s what … Read More

Shakespeare (Sonnet 35)

forgive

Allen Ginsberg on Shakespeare’s Sonnets (continuing from here)

No more be griev’d at that which thou hast done: Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud, Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun, And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud. All men make faults, and even I in this, Authorizing thy trespass with compare, Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss, Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are; For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense, (Thy adverse party is thy advocate) And ‘gainst myself a lawful plea commence: Such civil war is in my love and hate That … Read More

From The Elizabethan Songbook (Breath & Air)

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 [ The Fool’s costume (the jester’s costume) – cap ‘n bells]

Student: Yeats wrote a poem called “The Cap and Bells

AG: Well (W.B.) Yeats did.. (that’s more) Irish..This is Cap and Bells too. I just (give you) that – but I wanted to get back into the breath into the open space. So it’s sort of insubstantial breath finally, So we can go back to Samuel Daniel. where we were,  on page one-hundred-and-ninety, can sort of get back into…

Peter Orlovsky: Which page?

Student: One-ninety

AG: Oh yes, before.. yes, one-ninety. Before we get there, … Read More

Campion – “Follow Thy Fair Sun…”

Thomas Campion (1567-1620)

AG: So the next one that he (Thomas Campion) has is  “Follow Thy.. Sun Unhappy Shadow” (Norton (anthology) page 225, it’s the page before, in the Norton, it begins at the bottom of page 225 ) – Do you know what it… does anyone know how to sing that? if you’ve got the music? – Does anybody know that one? – [to Student] Have you worked on that at all? Student: I.. I.. I could kind of do it. AG: Yeah, well let’s have.. Student: Do it, first? AG:  Want to do this first? … Read More

The Voice of W.B.Yeats

Happy Birthday William Butler Yeats

[W,B.Yeats (1865-1939)  Photograph by Howard Coster]

In preparation and anticipation of a whole series of readings from, and remarks on, W.B.Yeats by Allen, (in tandem with the erudite and always entertaining Philip Whalen), here’s Yeats recorded voice (famously available on the old Caedmon records) and continuing into the digital age, and famously beginning with “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” (“I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,/And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made,/Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee/And live alone in the bee-loud glade”. Here it … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 38 (Reading List 9) (Charles Olson, Pablo Neruda)

[Charles Olson (1919-1970)]

AG: I was thinking originally, when I came in to move on from ballads to those songs – (Thomas Nashe, James Shirley – and I will get, I think, to Shirley at any rate), but I want to just finish off with this list up to, let us say, Charles Olson, because it’s up to that point that, after (Robert) Creeley, from Creeley on up, at least half the class has read something, so I’ll leave any further suggestions to a written list that I’ll make up. But of Olson, I‘d suggest the

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