Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 1

Allen Ginsberg & Steven Taylor, Passaic Falls, Paterson, NJ, May 1978. photo: c. Terry Sanders


Allen was always proud of – and rightly so – his New Jersey roots. This past weekend, several young poets from that State gathered together at The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College for the annual Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, “honoring Allen Ginsberg’s Contribution to American Literature.”

In a related story, Allen is – and, perhaps surprisingly, given the company – among those nominated for the 2011 New Jersey Hall of Fame in what appears to be a spirited local boostering enterprise. Curiously under the “General” not the “Arts and Entertainment” category (movie stars like John Travolta and Bruce Willis are among the latter, not to mention Queen Latifah and singer Tony Bennett!). Voters are encouraged to vote on-line and the top vote-getters will be officially inducted in the Spring. Seems tho’, you have to vote for someone in each of the categories, you can’t just vote for Allen – oh well, he’s already a de facto New Jersey hall-of-famer, as far as we’re concerned!


Seems the current omnipresence of Howl has summoned up all sorts of feelings and nostalgia and memories. One tiny annotation that you might well have missed (it appeared buried in another blog’s Comments section) is from New Yorker Stefan Jones who writes:

“”who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford’s floated out and sat through the stale beer afternoon in desolate Fugazzi’s, listening to…”.My grandparents owned Fugazzis, and ran it at the time Howl was written. My father tended bar there for a short time, while in grad school.It was on 6th, a few doors down from the Waverly theater. The building was torn down and a fast food place installed. According to my parents, the clientele were old Italian guys who came for the polenta and bacala special, and beatniks.I have vague toddler memories of the place, and my grandparents’ apartment up above”.

Anybody else out there got any site-specific Howl memories?

Bill Katz & James Schuyler, November 7, 1987. photo. c. Allen Ginsberg Estate


Someone kindly pointed out in our comments that November 9 was Jimmy Schuyler‘s birthday as well as Anne Sexton’s. We’re particularly keen on Schuyler here, and it just so happens one of our frequent contributors, Simon Pettet, was editor on a number of his books, the most recent being Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems published earlier this year.

The photo find of the week is this one by Douglas Gilbert of Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg oustside Albert Grossman’s house house in Woodstock, NY 1964. That’s the same house the cover of Bringing it All Back Home was shot in a year later, where Dylan’s pictured sitting with Sally Grossman. We found if off Jody’s When you Awake page, but the full book Forever Young published by DaCapo Press is available and has plenty more interesting images.

Last but not least, we came across this Arabic translation of “Song” posted by London based Libyan, Ghazi Gheblawi on his blog. Anyone with better Arabic skills than us have any take on the translation?

أغنيــــــة (قصيدة مترجمة)

الحب هو
عبء العالم.
تحت وطأة
تحت وطأة
اللا اكتفاء
العبء الذي نحمله
هو الحب.
من يستطيع أن ينكر؟
أنه في الاحلام
في الفكر
في الخيال
حتى يولد
في إنسان –
يطل من القلب
مشتعلاً بنقاء –
لأن الحب،
هو عبء الحياة،
لكننا نواصل بارهاق
حمل العبء،
لذا فإننا يجب أن نسترح
في احضان الحب،
يجب أن نسترح في احضان
لا راحة
بلا حب،
لا نوم
بلا احلام
عن الحب –
سواء أكنت طائشاً أو هادئاً
مهووساً بالملائكة
أو الآلات،
فإن الامنية الاخيرة
هي الحب
ــ لن تكون مرةً،
لا تستطيع انكارها،
لا تستطيع كبتها
إن انكرتها:
العبء ثقيلٌ جداً
ــ يجب أن تمنح
بلا مقابل
كما تُمنح الفكرة
في العزلة
بكل اسرافها الباذخ.
الاجساد الدافئة
تلمع في الظلمة
تتحرك الكف
إلى مركز
ترتعش البشرة
وتصل الروح
مبتهجة إلى العين –
نعم، نعم،
ذلك ما اردته،
اردت دائماً،
اردت دائماً،
أن اعود
إلى الجسد
حيث ولدت.

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