Spontaneous Poetics – 120 (Calamus Whitman)

[Calamus grass]

Well there’s a funny kind of humor in Whitman that gives him a more ample mind thanWordsworth in his disillusion. I think partly because his original revolution was more deeply grounded in Nature, or his own body, and his own desire. And he had, from the very beginning, some sense of sunyata, or emptiness, hollowness, trickiness, about his own thought-forms, and his own passions, and his own attachments. In laying out his own story, to begin with I read a little prose paragraph, where he says his most rank or direct political statement was in the … Read More

Ed(ward) Sanders

Ed Sanders 74th birthday today. We want to salute this indefatigueable cultural warrior, as he so eloquently and movingly salutes his beloved mentor Allen, here:

Here‘s a recent reading/performance, this past January in Buffalo, New York at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

Here’s two presentations/readings in New York,  following the publication of his Fug You memoir (at Boo-Hooray Gallery, and at St Marks Bookstore).

Some vintage ‘Sixties Sanders – here‘s Ed, reading “Cemetery Hill” at the Berkeley Poets Conference in 1965. Here‘s Ed reading “Soft Man 1” and “Sheep” in 1966.

Here’s two from … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round Up – 139

Sometime last Monday, the one millionth page-viewing of The Allen Ginsberg Project took place. Thank you anonymous page-viewer. We sort of like the idea of not knowing who you are. Thank you all our page-viewers, all our visitors, all our regulars (most especially, our “Google Friends” – here’s another request/invite to become a “Google Friend”, if you’re not already one – also, another previously-offered request, don’t be shy in getting back to us on individual posts, using the “Comments” button).

Now, on with our regular “Friday Round Up”.

Well, a relatively quiet one this week. Patti Smith (and collaborator/accompanist, Philip Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 119 (Wordsworth – 6)

[William Wordsworth (1770-1850)]

Allen’s Spontaneous and Improvised Poetics Naropa lectures of the summer of 1976 pick up again on August 4th, 1976

AG: I want to continue a little bit more with Wordsworth, because what I did was leave him with disillusionment with the French Revolution. (I left him) with his troubles, his political troubles, which are similar to the troubles that we’ve got [USA, 1976 – sic]. I was looking over “The Prelude” yesterday, where he continues, at great length, about his disillusionment, and I’ll read you just a couple of sentences from that (because it’s not … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics (Wordsworth – 5 Wordsworth The Reactionary)

AG:  .. 1859-1840 – “Sonnets on the Punishment of Death” – Sonnets in favor of capital punishment ! – he’d gone that far! – did you know that?. Wordsworth wrote sonnets in favor of capital punishment! Has anybody ever seen those? Well that really takes the rag off the bush. I mean, it’s so.. it’s sort of like a final horror. The great poet!, Shelley‘s beloved Wordsworth, writing sonnets in favor of capital punishment! This is now forty years after the French Revolution. So I want to read you a couple of little fragments of that so you … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 118 (Wordsworth – 4)

AG: Now we find Wordsworth later (at the very end)  writing poems on Law and Order!

A group of “Sonnets Dedicated to Liberty and Order”! I’m not reading them because they’re great poems (although they are interesting), but I’m reading them because, well, what happened? .. what’s the evidence? how did he.. what did he do?

“Composed After Reading a Newspaper of the Day” (this is now 1831, so, thirty years later, it’s really an after-thought) – [Allen reads Wordsworth’s “Composed After Reading a Newspaper of the Day”] – “People!, your chains are severing link by link,/ Soon shall the … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 117 ( Wordsworth – 3)

[William Wordsworth, in his youth, aged 28, (1798), oil painting by William Shuter – via Cornell University’s William Wordsworth Collection]  

AG: Give Wordsworth credit (Shelley gave Wordsworth credit) for his original mastery of consciousness and revolution and liberty and divine thought and natural power, but there was something disproportionate to its cause, and to Nature, in Wordsworth’s resolution of his revolutionary dilemma (which is a dilemma, not only that we are going through now, [1976], in America, but also, the great classic masters of the past, like (William) Blake, had to go through precisely the same historical circumstance. In … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics 116 – (Wordsworth – 2)


[Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825)]

AG: [Wordsworth] – I want to move away from his great poetry and get into what is sometimes considered to be his bad poetry.  As a transition piece – a poem he wrote on the French Revolution. It was composed in 1804. He was already a little bit disillusioned. In a way, I was thinking of these poems in relation to our own national supposed disillusionment with the ‘Sixties [Allen is speaking in America in 1976 here] and I’m giving Wordsworth now as a little sample of what kind of … Read More

Herbert Huncke’s 1982 Workshop at the Jack Kerouac Conference at Naropa<

[“Old-timer & survivor, Herbert E Huncke, Beat Literary Pioneer, early decades thief, who introduced Burroughs, Kerouac & me to floating population hustling & drug scene Times Square 1945. From ’48 on, he penned remarkable musings, Collected as autobiographical vignettes, anecdotes & storyteller’s tales in the classic The Evening Sun Turned Crimson (Cherry Valley, 1970) and later Guilty of Everything. Here age 78 in basement back-yard, his apartment East 7th Street, near Avenue D, New York, May 18, 1993″]

Herbert Huncke weekend continues.

Herbert Huncke’s Workshop in 1982 at the Jack Kerouac Conference at Naropa Institute Audio (from the remarkable Naropa … Read More

Herbert Huncke – American Hipster


American Hipster – Hilary Holladay‘s long-awaited biography of the legendary Herbert Huncke – is now out. Holladay, former director of the Kerouac Center for American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell (and, in that capacity, long-time co-ordinator of the annual Lowell Celebrates Kerouac celebrations) now teaches at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Here she is, discussing the book on WAMU (American University radio) with Allison Quantz, (recorded earlier in the year).

She recently (just last month, in fact) gave a presentation of the book in San Francisco, at The Beat Museum. Here‘s their pre-view/over-view.… Read More