Ai Weiwei – continuing

Our initial post from this past April, we draw your attention to (but this is very much an “on-going” story, as we noted then). Other pertinent posts here on the Allen Ginsberg Project regarding Ai Weiwei include: notes on his 2011 NYC Asia Society exhibition (here – and with further remarks and commentary here) and video of Geandy Pavon’s stunning urban guerilla projection (sic – that took place contemporaneous with his detention) – as well as tracking (some tracking) of the story (via reporting from the London-based Guardian, and the always-provocative, always-intelligent, Hyperallergic).
Recent up-dates: “… Read More

A Supermarket in California (ASV #22)

Jim Cohn’s Museum of American Poetics remains a valuable and inspiring source, “a unique amalgam of poets, students, teachers, scholars, editors, publishers, literary centers and web designers”..”Since coming online in 1997 (it) has documented major trends in Postbeat poetry through its collection of on-line exhibits, annual Napalm Health Spa journal, poetics transmissions, video presentations, links and blog”..”Celebrating the diversity of experimental and outrider poetries leading up to the Beat Generation, MAP has (recently) expanded its coverage of world poetry, with special emphasis on international poets on the front lines against oppression.”
We are grateful to Jim and the Museum for
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Celebrating Joanne Kyger

Today is the wonderful Joanne Kyger‘s birthday. We salute and we celebrate her. We draw your attention first to our last year’s posting (which included various photographs, and links to her 2007 reading at the University of California, Berkeley). Here’s another Kyger reading (from Columbia College, Chicago, the following year. Here is her page on PennSound which includes such gems as her appearance in 1965 at the Berkeley Poetry Conference, a 1971 (and 2011!) reading in Bolinas, a 1976 reading at San Francisco’s Intersection, reading (rare video) in New York in 1978, a reading Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 50

Gog and Magog. Gog and Magog. Armageddon did the Job” – that’s the voice of David Shapiro (and glimpses too of David Amram, Joyce Johnson, Ann Douglas, and others from this video footage of the Columbia (University’s) Alumnae Association’s annual Beat hommage (“A Celebration of Columbia’s Beats”), held earlier this year. The line is, of course, from “Hum Bom!” (included in Cosmopolitan Greetings). Here’s footage of Allen reading that poem, (flanked by Jean Jacques Lebel, in Paris, and, again, on stage, in London). Here‘s DJ Spooky‘s “Hum Bom … Read More

Shelley (Allen’s 1975 NAROPA class – 3)

File:Portrait of Percy Bysshe Shelley by Curran, 1819.jpg
[Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) (painted by Amelia Curran (1775-1847) in 1819]
Move on to.. There are certain things in Shelley that should be noted. You had the “Ode to the West Wind”. There is a great thing called “The Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” – again Neo-Platonic. It’s actually very similar to what Wordsworth said in the “Intimations of Immortality” except it’s a little bit more abstracted in Shelley. It’s like trying to break through consciousness to another level of consciousness, to some sort of abstracted Platonic eidolonic intellectual beauty – not the beauty of “Green to the very Read More

Gnosticism, Milton & More (Allen’s 1975 NAROPA class continues – 1)

A classic painting often used to describe the journey of the Gnostic

Continuing with Allen’s June 23 1975 NAROPA lecture, (topics already covered, John Donne and Andrew Marvell – and now this:

AG: According to some Gnostic schools, in the beginning was the Abyss of Light, which somehow shimmered to reflect itself for a moment and that reflection was the Word, known as Sophia, wisdom, or word, and in Sophia’s mind, being born, she had a thought and, as (William) Blake says, “One thought fills immensity”. So her thought was the first Aeon, first time-span, presided over by the Archon, or ruler of the Aeon, or guardian … Read More

Wordsworth (Allen’s 1975 NAROPA class – 2)

[William Wordsworth (1770-1850) – painted, in 1798, by William Shuter]
Well, Wordsworth was doing the same thing, but he came at a time after Blake, after a sort of drying out of poetry and a rigidification of the meters, which we’re skipping over. Actually, quite extraordinary, (Alexander) Pope, (John) Dryden, (Jonathan) Swift, (the Earl of) Rochester. Wordsworth came to a modern spirit, post Industrial Revolution. His consciousness dimmed somewhat – conditioned, needing Rolfing, or needing acid, or needing the country, or needing vision, needing meditation. He was one of the few people who … Read More

History of Poetry 14 (Andrew Marvell)

[Andrew Marvell 1621-1678]

AG: How many here have read any of Andrew Marvell? Would you raise your hand if you have? Really raise your hand. And how many have not read any of Andrew Marvell. So that’s about half. Is there anybody who has read Andrew Marvell who objects to going over that again, a little? Doesn’t want to be dragged by it? Because if you read it I don’t have much to offer than the text itself or a reading of it

Student: Are you going to read “To His Coy Mistress”

AG: Yeah, sure. Now Marvell, 1621-1678,

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History of Poetry 13 (John Donne)

[John Donne – 1572-1631]
AG (singing with harmonium) : “Go and catch a falling star,/ Get with child a mandrake root,/ Tell me where all past years are,/ Or who cleft the devil’s foot…” [Allen improvises/ sings the whole poem – and then, self-depreciatingly] – Well that’s not a very good tune.
Sweetest love, I do not go,/ For weariness of thee…” – you know that? How many know that? I guess it’s the sweetest of them. Huh?
Student: Which one is the one with the contest?
AG: Later on. I think that’s the one where they’re … Read More