[Federico Garcia Lorca, in Granada, 1919, aged 21 – photo by Rogelio Robles]
“and you. Garcia Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons?”
(Federico Garcia) Lorca came to New York, hung around Columbia University quite a while, wrote big poems on the Brooklyn Bridge, as Mayakovsky did on Harlem, in 1930, probably ’32, two years after Mayakovsky’s suicide. Lorca was gay and killed by jealous cops or something, by Franco’s Guardia Civile, Civil Guard. He wrote while in New York a book of Surrealist poems, and he was turned on, perhaps, by Salvador Dali, whom he
Shifting same time (19th/early 20th century) to Moscow. Or.. of the same time, the equivalent group in Russia were the Futurists, who were maybe the earliest relatives, the earliest people who broke up a sense of consciousness, or a sense of a solid consciousness that the 19th century had. It was broken up a good deal in Rimbaud with the Alchemy of the Word and the long reasoned derangement of the senses, but by the time of 1905, it had become already artistic practice, and not just a great eccentric genius … Read More
AG: How many were not here last time? Okay. Last time we went through some Whitman, some Rimbaud. The point was to show the break-up in the 19th century of the older stanzaic rhymed forms, inherited from the practice of musicking the poetry, late 19th century. It broke up in the 1870s. So samples of that were Whitman, Rimbaud (and then I played some phonograph records of the Russian poets (Vladimir) Mayakovsky and Sergei Esenin (and Ezra Pound and the Italian Futurist, Giuseppe Ungaretti)). The Mayakovsky, we didn’t have any English text.
[Jerome Rothenberg, back lawn at Naropa Institute, August 5, 1985. photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]
In celebration of Jerome Rothenberg’s 80th birthday. Here’s a reading that took place in August of 1981 at Naropa. Allen introduces him.
“(He (Jerry Rothenberg)..) is now teaching a course in poetry and performance (here at NAROPA), which involves his specialty vocalization – “ethnopoetics” – Native American and other indigenous forms of poetry presentation and utterance and, with dance, music, song, chant, going into the seed (seat?) of language – he’s a fantastic scholar anthropologist anthologist whose specialization has been international-style of the … Read More
[Allen Ginsberg – Presentation copy of Howl to Richard Eberhart – inscribed “For Richard Eberhart in gratitude for his original vision of Nature both in his poetry and in his early sympathy for mine, Allen Ginsberg Dartmouth, October 17, 1960” courtesy Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College ]
Top story this week. Dartmouth College Library’s discovery of “arguably, the most important printed copy of “Howl” ever produced”, a rare early mimeo (a true first printing, one of only twenty-five), gifted and inscribed to poet and scholar Richard Eberhart (now placed alongside a later signed City Lights first edition). For more
Allen is in the middle of discussing Rimbaud’s “Parade”
AG: ….interzone teacher gypsy sadist, well, there’s little elements of modernity in it, you could say, if it were called “Hell’s Angels”, it would be immediately apparent what the subject is – (a) Sideshow, (a) Parade (and romanticizing maybe, the traveling-circus). That’s a great line – “J’ai seul le clef de cette parade sauvage” – I alone have the key to the circus, parade. I alone have the key to the savage mental sideshow – “J’ai seul le clef de cette parade sauvage” [in the John Ashbery translation… Read More
[Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) at the time of his First Communion (aged 12), 1866]
At the same time (as Walt Whitman in America), in the provinces, in Charleville, in France, (Arthur) Rimbaud. How many people have ever read any Rimbaud here? First of all.. yeah, raise them. How many have not? Okay, now how many here were in Anne (Waldman)’s class? She read some Rimbaud. How many were in Anne’s class where Rimbaud’s “Lettre du Voyant“ was read?. Okay, Rimbaud was, at that time, as most of you know, a 15-year-old kid in a French border-town, near Belgium. He’d had … Read More
AG: You’ve all heard some of Whitman. His first line, which is generally taught in high school, and which you all know, isn’t generally spoken correctly, it’s “I celebrate myself, and sing myself” (Allen emphasizes the second syllable – he then goes on to read the first five stanzas of “Song of Myself”, pausing only after/mid-way through the third section – “Knowing the perfect fitness and equanimity of all things, while they discuss I am silent, and go bathe and admire myself” – Actually that sounds like Philip Whalen a little – “while they discuss I am silent, … Read More
Still following Allen’s 1975 History of Poetry classes. Whitman tomorrow – but, first, Allen sets up a template for the days ahead:
“We’ll move from that time (William Blake’s time) to a breaking open of those stricter verse forms that we’ve been dealing with and get on with Walt Whitman for about ten minutes because I’ll take up Walt Whiman later during next week.
Beginning today, I’ll start with a little Whitman and maybe come back to him later. From Whitman, an open form, a more open voice, the … Read More