Spontaneous Poetics – 134

Image 20 of 35, AG: Has everybody here seen the illustrated colored version of Songs of Innocence and Of Experience? Raise your hands if you have not. How many have not. Well, very few haven’t,  there is a copy here in the library – Trianon Press, Trianon Press Editions, which has reproductions, I think, of the Lessing J. Rosenwald copy of Songs of Innocence and Experience. Blake originally etched the poems and pictures around them and then hand-colored them with his wife, and then printed about twenty-five copies altogether, and then hand-colored each one. So there’s a complete pretty colored reproduction of that … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 133

BEING GENIUSES TOGETHER. AG: That was one of the most influential (books) that I ever read – Being Geniuses Together. That’s what determined my particular attitude toward companionship in the Beat Generation. Student: Can you enlarge on all (that)? AG: Well, a realization that almost every gesture (I) make is history, so I try and make pretty gestures. So I try to keep my gestures interesting.. Student: (That) must be hard work! AG: ..like having nervous breakdowns in Naropa English classes! Student: You don’t look like you’re having a nervous breakdown.


AG: Well, I really am. Student: Are you? AG: You wouldn’t … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 132

[Henri Rousseau – The Sleeping Gypsy – oil on canvas, 129.5 cm × 200.7 cm (51.0 in × 79.0 in) 1897 in the collection ofthe Museum of Modern Art]

Student: I’d like to ask you and Philip Whalen what languages that you read poetry in besides English and in what ways you find it useful? AG: I read Spanish – (Federico Garcia) Lorca and (Pablo) Neruda, and Saint John of the Cross, and various little odd things in Spanish – and I was influenced a good deal by Lorca’s “Ode to Walt Whitman” – the rhythm and sort … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 131 (Henri Michaux)

Henri Michaux Student: I wanted to ask you about Henri Michaux AG: Yes Student: And Ed Dorn, and James Tate AG: Henri Michaux, Ed Dorn and James Tate! – Well, once I was standing on a street corner in Paris, talking with Henri Michaux and Gregory Corso. And, let’s see, it was 1965 probably, and we’d known Michaux since (19)58). He’d come to visit. He lived around the block in Paris from Rue Git de Coeur, where we lived. He lived on Rue Segur near the Seine, on the Left Bank. He came in. I’d left a note saying … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 115 (Wordsworth – 1)

William Wordsworth, by Benjamin Robert Haydon, 1818 - NPG 3687 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

[William Wordsworth (1770-1850) – chalk drawing by Benjamin Robert Haydon, 1818 – 21 1/2 in. x 16 1/2 in. via National Portrait Gallery]

AG: …with (William) Wordsworth, we have a funny, odd, different adaptation. Wordsworth  [like (Walt) Whitman] also had a pantheistic vision of the universe. So I’ll just present one longish poem of Wordsworth as the equivalent of Leaves of Grass – Wordsworth’s younger and visionary (poetry) – 1798 – “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey On revisiting the Banks of the Wye during A Tour, July 13, 1798” How many here … Read More

Allen Ginsberg June 1986 Radio Interview

City Lights put up (as a podcast, on-line) earlier this summer, an interview (a phone-interview) with Allen, dating from the mid-1980’s, the (Ronald) Reagan era, (June 2 1986, in fact, the day before Allen’s 60th birthday!). We thought to shine some more light on it, to feature it this weekend.  Here follows a transcription.  Allen, with the two interviewers, Walter Isgro, and another, un-named, (the context being a visit to the state of Maine), discuss poetic history, censorship, art, education, politics (both global and local) and Allen and the Beats as representatives of a tradition, the tradition of … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 142

[Daniel Radcliffe (and John Krokidas – Radcliffe speaks on Ginsberg, Krokidas speaks on his casting of Radcliffe) – at the Venice Film Festival, September 2013]

[Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe)’s first meeting with Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan) at the Columbia University South Hall (Butler) Library – scene from the upcoming “Kill Your Darlings”]  

[Dane DeHaan and Daniel Radcliffe – The Official SONY Pictures Classics trailer for the upcoming film, Kill Your Darlings]

So, to begin with the … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 130 (Ginsberg & Whalen – Oriental Influences)



AG: There’s another book by (R.H.) Blyth called Senryu Notes Student: Called what? AG:  Senryu Notes – S-E-N-R-Y-U – Is that right?  [Senryu – Japanese Satirical Verses]Philip Whalen: Yeah, yeahAG: “Senryu” means what?

Philip Whalen: Senryu is the comical and obscene and..

AG: vulgar?

Philip Whalen: ..vulgar, that type of thing. Also, there’s a..

AG:  A two-volume history of haiku Philip Whalen: Yes, a two-volume history. Then there’s another book that’s called Oriental (Wit and) Humor [Oriental Humor], which is also..(a book of) senryu, and other jokes and song, and… (A)

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Spontaneous Poetics- 129 (Blyth and Haiku)

 AG: I got some complaints that last time (that) I was  getting up in the air, reading too much and boring people, (which is probably true, because my attention wavered occasionally when I was reading through the Wordsworth – most of the time I was there and present, but my attention waved too, as your attention must have –  partly out of desperation, because, actually, (with Wordsworth) I’ve sort of run out of things to teach! – except the things that I knew already, like “Tintern Abbey”, or “Intimations of Immortality..”  I would, if I had it, read through … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics 128 – (Morning Meditation – 2)

[Buddhist Practitioners (students of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche) – Shambhala Training – Land O’ Lakes Seminary, 1976, Land O’Lakes,]

AG: How many here sit?  (How many) have sat? And how many have not? Raise your hands. Of those that raised their hands, how many have not gone to get instruction in sitting? Do you know? I guess you may or may not know about that, but part of the Naropa services includes free sitting instruction, which you can get by going up to the Naropa office at 1441 Broadway, and they’ll assign a meditation instructor to you, who will show you
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