Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 43

We’ve been serializing Allen’s NAROPA lectures of late (more, much more, to come) so the presence of this”practicum” is (as it always was) really useful. Daniel Nester on We Who Are About To has a version (“June 3 1992, revised March 29 1995”) posted here. [2013 update – this link has, unfortunately, been taken down ( presumably for copyright reasons). We do hope to have a version of the practicum available on-line (again) sometime in the future]
And still on the topic of essential teaching tools – the Poetry Foundation recently spotlighted Steve Silberman’s “Celestial Homework” – … Read More

W.H.Auden (1907-1973)

[W.H.Auden (1907-1973) photo c. David Kirby]


W.H. Auden died on this day.
MA: What about Ginsberg’s parody (of you)? I only mention it because you wrote that to parody successfully you have to like the style you are parodying.
WA: I didn’t know he had written one. Where is it?
MA: In (his) Indian Journals
WA: Oh you should have brought it. I would have liked to see it.
MA: Have you met Ginsberg?
WA: Yes, I like him. I don’t care for his poetry.
Allen – from the essay, “Remembering Auden” … Read More

Adaptations Project Production of Kaddish opens this week in New York

September 29-October 9

Produced by The Adaptations Project on Sept 29 – Oct 9, 2011 at New York’s 4th Street Theatre.

Directed by Kim Weild and Performed by Donnie Mather. This multimedia memory play is a collision of Poetry, Video, Music, & Theatre. The production marks the 50th Anniversary of the poem’s publication.

Tickets at or 1-800-838-3006.General Admission $18
Artists Talkbacks:

Following select performances, stay for an intimate post-show discussion on Kaddish, Ginsberg, and The Adaptations Project along with several special guests.

Oct 1 Saturday following the 3pm matinee
Oct 4 Tuesday with John Tytell (Professor and author … Read More

Andre Breton ( 1896-1966)

Andre Breton “the Pope of Surrealism” died 45 years ago today

A nine-part interview (Entretien) with him (by Andre Parinaud) from 1950 may be listened to (en francais) here

Illuminating footage of Breton and others can be seen in the documentary, Passage Breton by Michel Polac and Robert Benayoun, made in 1970, four years after his death. and featuring interviews with some notable Surrealist contemporaries – Salvador Dali, Matta, Jacques Baron, Joyce Mansour, Andre Pieyre de Mandiargues, Man Ray.

Peruse once again (if you dare) the Surrealist manifesto

Read More

T.S.Eliot (1888-1965)

[Portrait of T.S. Eliot by Wyndham Lewis, 1938, oil on canvas, 133.3 x 85.1 cm – Durban Art Gallery, South Africa]
501 – today is T.S. Eliot’s birthday – In ’58 Allen made him an honorary “Ignu” (“Eliot probably an ignu one of the few who’s funny when he eats”) – and three years later, in “Journal Night Thoughts” – “Eliot’s voice clanging over the sky/ on upper Broadway, “Only thru Time is Time conquered”
– 27 years later, this, from a letter to Lucien Carr:
“Read biography of T.S.Eliot this week – he had … Read More

Allen Ginsberg – 500th Posting

[*Ginsberg en la piel…” (Ginsberg tattoo), 2011 – photo by Erix Pearl via Flickr]
“The weight of the world/ is love/ Under the burden/ of solitude,/ under the burden of dissatisfaction/ the weight,/ the weight we carry/ is love”.
Since Ginsberg-tattoo postings seem (curiously?) among our most popular postings, what better way to celebrate the 500th posting here on The Allen Ginsberg Project than this – another posting of a picture of a “tat”.
Another “tat”, coming off of that same poem, may be viewed here.
Not to forget the “queer shoulder” (don’t miss “Jon”s follow-up comment too!)… Read More

Allen Reads William Carlos Williams (ASV #17)

Voices and Visions was a 13-part educational t.v. series (13 t.v. programs), produced in 1988 by the New York Center For Visual History and airing that year on public television. The programs attempted to explore, as they put it, “through interviews, archival footage, and readings, the life and works of some of America’s greatest poets”…”Each of the thirteen 60-minute documentaries focuses on a different American poet and attempts to present a biographical picture of the poets’ life and insight into the poetry they created”.
The poets who were spotlighted included Walt Whitman (Allen appears in that one too), Emily DickinsonRead More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 42

A short clip from an “historical interview” (with Barry Silesky), originally recorded in 1988 and re-edited in 2004, posted on the site of the Video Data Bank

“In 1968 52 percent of the American people had thought (that) the (Vietnam) war was always a mistake, according to Gallup. By 1968, the Left, with a majority behind it, was still saying kill the middle class, bring the war home, carry the Vietcong flag, and so offended the middle class they couldn’t lead the middle class out of the war the middle class were in favor of getting out, particularly, a couple … Read More

History of Poetry 7 (William Shakespeare 2)

[“Memento mori” image courtesy the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC]
“In a few minutes… lets, see, when does this class end?…7.40?..we have one minute. I wanted to get back to one little Shakespeare to end. And it’s funny little sounds in a song from “A Winter’s Tale” that’s not too well-known. So I won’t try to explain what the reference in the play to the poem is. There’s a certain kind of funny lyric jumpiness, syncopation, in this:
“When daffodills begin to peer,/ With heigh! the doxy over the dale,/ Why, then comes in the sweet o’ … Read More

History of Poetry 6 (Thomas Campion)

[Anonymous – Portrait of A Lutenist, oil on canvas, French, c. late 17th century]
Campion 1567-1620. (Thomas) Campion, also, at this point, writing music, got interested in quantitative verse – vowel-length verse – as the measure for his poetry, and he is one of the great ears in English poetry. Most of these, or some of these, are songs. I’ll read the famous one(s) that you know mostly – “Rose-cheekt Laura, come/ Sing thou smoothly with thy beaweies/ Silent musick, either other/ Sweetely gracing/ Lovely formes do flowe/ From concent devinely framed;/ Heaven is musick, and thy beawties/ … Read More