[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
William Carlos Williams birthday today. We celebrate with his reading on January 27, 1954 in New York at the 92nd Street Y.
We begin with the poem that leads off the 1956 Collected Later Poems – “A Sort of Song” – “Let the snake wait under/his weed/and the writing/be of words, slow and quick, sharp/to strike, quiet to wait,/sleepless./– through metaphor to reconcile/the people and the stones/.Compose. (No ideas/ but in things) Invent!/Saxifrage is my flower that splits/the rocks.” – followed by “Burning the Christmas Greens” ( “Their time past, pulled down/cracked and flung in the … Read More
AG: So, now , the reason I was coming on to all of this was that the short form of the haiku or the long form of the (William Carlos) Williams sentence all say the same thing, which is – if you try to weave a series of discrete haiku-like perceptions in (Jack) Kerouac -ian-sketchy-sketch style, if you try to weave them in to one single continuous cadence of breath and a single continuous syntactical order, you’ll have … Read More
AG: Then, the other thing we came to, she [sic] had a poem that was a discrete series of code-word observations, one after another in a row, and it sounded, like, too choppy, or much like she was doing an exercise sketch of the ….”One lady lifts up her big leg over the…or big boot, and takes it off” – [ to Student] – What are the three images? – What’s the first one? there was…
Student: “Holding the attention”,,
Student: “Holding the attention..riding a bicycle, … Read More
AG: Then another thing formulated with Rachel today [sic] was, in terms of condensation, if you can find three or four different ways of saying, of arranging the same words, generally, the spoken arrangement that is the shortest has the best rhythm and is the most vivid. [To Rachel (sic)] – Do you happen to have that poem with you? that one poem where we really discovered it. You remember the line?
Student (R)…”There’s not enough time to..”
AG: What’s the next line? There’s not enough time
Student (R) …”There’s not enough time to write all the notes down”
[Basil Bunting tries his hand at editing Shakespeare]
AG: And then there was another thing.. I was talking with…Rachel [sic]…with Rachel..and we were talking about composition and condensation of poems and ..some ideas crystallized that might be useful. I’ve talked about it before I thought but apparently I had never said it around Rachel (tho; I thought I said it in any number of..over a dozen classes) there was that idea of Basil Bunting‘s, which (Ezra) Pound handed on, which was that poetics was condensation – and I think I’ll talk about that – and I’ve applied it in … Read More
AG: I used a lot.. I used a method..I used that in a lot of early poems that I was doing, imitating (William Carlos) Williams, just little free-verse poems, but I would rearrange them from prose, and arranged them into balanced little five-syllable, three-syllable, five-syllable, three-syllable, whatever – ” I learned a world from each/ one whom I loved/ so many/ worlds /without /a Zodiac” – [from his poem “The Night Apple”] – six-four, six-four. I mean, I had written it down in prose on the paper, in … Read More
[Allen Ginsberg at his 1973 Glasgow Press Conference]
We featured here last week, Allen’s interview in 1973 in Scottish International. Featured today is a companion piece from The Glasgow Review (drawing from the same press conference). The piece was initially titled “Of Burns and Watergate” (referring to the two main topics).
Interviewer; What do you think of the present state of the Watergate affair?
AG: Well what the underground both in America and England have been saying for a long time now has become accepted currency in the minds of the above-ground, middle-class media. The specific conceptions that are … Read More