William Blake Class – 4 (Urizen continued)

AG: Chapter III – Let’s see where we are – One God, one King and one Law. So you see the man mired in that in the flames. The (gross) flames of this Creation. On page 186. Urizen Plate 4b in Erdman – [Allen resumes reading – continues with Chapter III of The First Book of Urizen ] – “The voice ended, they saw his pale visage” – I guess this is the Eternals, judging all this – “The voice ended, they saw his pale visage/ Emerge from the darkness, his hand/ On the Rock of Eternity unclasping/ The book … Read More

William Blake Class – 3 (Urizen and Milton)

Allen continues, lecturing on Blake’s Book of Urizen.

“For he strove with battles dire/ In unseen confliction with shapes/ Bred from his forsaken wilderness,/ Of beast, bird, fish, serpent, and element/ Combustion blast, vapour and cloud” – He’s creating his own universe, like Jehovah – “Dark revolving in silent activity:/ Unseen in tormenting passions;/ An activity unknown and horrible;/ A self-contemplating shadow,/in enormous labours occupied. But Eternals beheld his vast forests/ Ages on ages he lay, closed, unknown,/ Brooding shut in the deep, all avoid/ The petrific abominable chaos” – “the petrific” – stony. The rhetoric there, you can

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William Blake Class – 2 (Urizen and Gnostic Background)




So Urizen (The First Book of Urizen) was printed 1794, it’s on page 69 of the Erdman. So who’s got my (copy)? As you remember, Urizen was the principle (that) would be the correlation in Buddhism to the vajra principle of intellect,intelligence. In Buddhism, vajra quality can also have its corrupted or perverted opposite, where you have an excess of vajra, where everything is complete intellect and cutting through (perhaps cynical or destructive intellect, or negative intellect, or intellect that’s so solidified and impacted that it doesn’t allow for any feeling, or any richness, or any

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William Blake Class – 1 (Preliminaries)

[William Blake (1757-1827) – Portrait by Thomas Philips, 1807, oil on canvas 36 1/4″ x 26 3/8″, courtesy National Portrait Gallery, London]
Here begins transcription of an early William Blake seminar that Allen conducted (in April 1978) at Naropa. He taught Blake there to his students on many other occasions, and we hope to provide transcriptions of those classes too, but first, this one, the earliest one (the earliest one we can find).

We should also, at the outset, note Allen’s edited transcription of this, in his 1988 Hanuman Press book, Your Reason & Blake’s System (transcription and editing

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Fried Shoes and Cooked Diamonds (ASV#30)

“Costanzo Allione and an Italian film crew completed an hour-long color movie at Jack Kerouac School of Poetics, Naropa Institute, Boulder, Colorado 1978 summer, a serious and spontaneously filmed account of conversations and teachings of home scenes of myself, poets Peter Orlovsky, William S Burroughs, Anne Waldman, LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Diane di Prima, Timothy Leary, Daniel Ellsberg and Gregory Corso and Lama Chogyam Trungpa – including conversation, singing, nakedness, meditation, student Poets, and readings, & Nuclear Protest arrests at Rocky Flats Plutonium Bomb-trigger Facility nearby. Thanks” —  Allen Ginsberg

– also – Allen omits in this … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up 63

[Philip Glass, Patti Smith & the spirit of Allen Ginsberg, last week at the Park Avenue Armory, New York ]

The winners of 2011 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards will read their winning poems at a poetry reading and award ceremony on Saturday, March 10, 2012, at the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College, Paterson, New Jersey. First prize this year went to Christopher Bursk and the aptly-named Charlotte Muse. The Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, “honoring Allen Ginsberg’s contributions to American Literature”, are given annually to poets, “both established and emerging”. Poems are judged anonymously with first prize winning $1,000, … Read More

Basil Bunting (1900-1985)

[“Basil Bunting and Allen Ginsberg in Tom and Connie Pickard’s flat, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, 22 May, 1965.]

Allen Armstrong writing in the Sunday Sun 23 May 1965 described the scene: ‘Mr Bunting, a Newcastle journalist, and one of Britain’s foremost modern poets, was sitting at the time, on the settee next to Ginsberg. America’s original “Angel-headed hipster” flopped forward and lay with his head in Bunting’s lap. He giggled. Bunting smiled. The young admirers laughed”

[ Basil Bunting: A Northern Life, Richard Caddel and Anthony Flowers, New Castle Libraries, 1997]

England’s great literary modernist, Basil Bunting was born on … Read More