Allen Ginsberg on Penn Sounds

Allen Ginsberg’s page on the incomparable audio archive PennSound has just been updated with a newly-segmented 1971 recording (from the reel-to-reel collection of Robert Creeley)

As Michael S Hennessey at PennSound Daily points out:

Creeley’s scant notations on the tape indicate the location of these recordings as San Francisco’s Intersection for the Arts in August 1971, and it appears, from Ginsberg’s comments, that these sixteen tracks were part of two, or perhaps three, readings with the split coming between tracks 11 and 12. The final track, an excerpt from “Howl, Part I” has a different sonic character than the reset of the recordings, and is likely from a separate source.

Most notably, this set includes a few short poems that do not appear in Ginsberg’s Collected Poems: 1947-1997, including “At the Capri,” “Sierras Hermitage” and “Nothing Personal,” along with early versions of poems that would appear in his National Book Award-winning The Fall of America: Poems of These States 1965-1971: “Milarepa Taste” (appearing here as “Two Haikus”), a very early version of “Hum Bom!” and “Opium Pedaling” (which would appear in that volume, minus its first line, as “Over Laramie”). Other poems from that volume included in the set are “Autumn Gold: New England Fall,” “Elegy for Neal Cassady,” “Eclogue,” “Guru Om,” “Have You Seen This Movie?,” “Bixby Canyon Ocean Path Word Breeze,” “Gary Snyder Reading Poesy at Princeton” and “An Open Window in Chicago.” He begins with “Stanzas Written at Night in Radio City,” a 1949 poem, to be published in his collection of early rhymed verse, The Gates of Wrath (1973). Aside from the early and variant versions of some poems, what we have here is a wonderful performance from Ginsberg, who’s in fine form and comfortable with his audience, cracking jokes and providing background information.

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