“Employed at the time as a reporter at the San Francisco Examiner, I was assigned to go with the poet Allen Ginsberg to the Stanford Research Institute there to take a trip on LSD. Social scientists … Read More
There’s a modern ballad by Basil Bunting which is worth listening to. The reason we got onto ballads, incidentally, is purely by accident. It was just that I had to begin somewhere in this course. Jack Elliott was present and Helen Adam was present. It was a good place to jump in with a form that was familiar to you now from pop or folk music, and, at the same time, it’s an archaic form, so we could start back in time and go back to the Scottish ballads and … Read More
[Cover for Allen’s book Luminous Dreams,Zasterle Press, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain, 1997]
AG: Okay, I want to go on with ballads a little. [To students] If you wrote a ballad at the end of the class, can you hand it in, with your name on it, and your address or phone-number too, so it doesn’t get lost? I can look them over and I can bring some in and read some next time. I’ll read mine, before anybody else does. It’s not a very good one. I wrote it this morning. I had a dream, woke up with a
We’ve been featuring these past two weeks now, Allen in conversation with the balladeer, Helen Adam. Here’s rare footage of her performing one of her own ballads, the classic (and hilarious!) “Cheerless Junkie’s Song” (from Ron Mann’s 1982 movie, Poetry In Motion)
The Beat Hotel – You’ve read the book? You’ve seen the film? Now listen to the radio-program. Professor Andrew Hussey, dean of the University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP), “tells the story of how a dirty, run-down hotel in the medieval heart of Paris became, in the late 50’s and early 60’s, a bohemian mecca, attracting some of the most important figures of the Beat Generation”. This BBC link will be up … Read More
Student: Isn’t it [the jump cut in the ballad form] a model of the mind essentially, because the mind jumps like that?
AG: That’s the way the mind works, yeah. The reason that poetry’s like that is because it’s faithful to the actual operation of the mind. Mind goes like that.
That’s why (William) Burroughs’ cut-ups,(which are jump cuts or juxtapositions) are so appropriate to 20th century Einstein-ian measurements of mind. That’s why haiku are so clear, because it jumps one image to another image, almost disconnected (although the mind makes up the connection, or sees the connection, or … Read More