[Allen’s Lorca class, continuing from here. A student is reading from Lorca’s Llanto por la muerte de Ignacio Sanchez Mejias“ (“Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias“)]
Student: “La piedra es una frente donde los suenos gimen/sin tener agua curva ni ciprerss helados./La piedra es una espalda para llever al tiempo/con arboles de lagrimas y cintas y planetas.”
AG: That’s a pretty great line, in English – “Stone is a shoulder on which to bear Time/with trees formed of tears and ribbons and planets.” Let’s see now, “ “Stone is a shoulder” – … Read More
AG: We might get on to this [Lorca’s “Llanto por la muerte de Ignacio Sanchez Mejias“ (“Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias“)], because this is a very amazing piece of rhetoric, depending a lot on repetition. (It’s at the end of the book) “A las cinco de la tarde” (I guess the Spanish would be subject more to intelligence) – “tarde“- “A las cinco de la tarde/Eran las cinco en punto de la tarde” – It was exactly five in the afternoon – “Eran las cinco en punto..” – Right on the point – “…de la tarde/Un … Read More
Fellow activists, fellow artists, fellow passionate devotees to peace, Allen and Pete Seeger were standing there together in 1969 [sic] at the founding of WTR (War Tax Resistance), a far-sighted organization founded by The War Resisters League and others, “in the belief that the right to conscientious objection belongs to all people, not just those of draft age”. WTR published a newsletter, two editions of a book, and helped establish 192 war tax resistance “centers” and 4o “alternative funds” across the country, moving to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1972 to become more centrally located. Pete, … Read More
AG: Well, the “Ode to Walt Whitman” was my favorite of all the (Federico Garcia) Lorca poems. But the international classic that everybody cites as Lorca’s great poem is his “Lament for a Bullfighter” [“Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias“] because the subject-matter is so central (to the) Spanish – a bullfighter – upon the death of a bullfighter – and it’s also one of his most elevated poems, and the homoerotic element in the “Ode to Walt Whitman is at least suppressed sufficiently, or generalized sufficiently into a cultural stereotype that Lorca can get away with all … Read More
AG: How many know this poem? – Lorca’s “Ode to Walt Whitman”? One, two, three, four, five, six. seven. Anybody else over there? How many do not? Oh great, great.
I think this is my idea of the greatest poem of the century, or this is my idea of what.. between this and (Guillaume) Apollinaire’s “Zone” (“Zone”, because it was original, it was the first one that invented Surrealist mind, breaking-apart, this, because it took elemental Spanish lyric passionate intensity and mixed it up with Surrealist cut-up, so to speak – the Surrealist … Read More
The 1975 Loka interview with William Burroughs continues. For the first part of the transcript, see here
Interviewer: Well, you’ve spoken about technology being used in, shall we say, benign ways.
WSB: Technology is neither good nor bad. People ask whether technology is good or bad. Good and bad don’t float in vacuums. They only have meaning with relation to the actual people at actual times (because, if you say) “who did what, when, and … Read More
This weekend, in anticipation of the William Burroughs Centennial next month, we present (in two parts) this – the 1975 Loka Interview with Rick Fields (with fleeting contributions from Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman). The interview was taped in Boulder, Colorado, at Naropa Institute, on January 1st, 1975. Note Burroughs’ prescient thoughts about world-wide economic collapse, his careful attempts to be presented with accurate, not generalized, questions, his common-sense, practical approach, and much much … Read More
For all our Spanish-speaking readers, Luis Costa Palacios’ piece, in Diaro Cordoba, recalling, twenty years ago, Allen’s visit to that city, is well worth a read. He came, as part of a delegation to the XVII Congreso Internacional de Aedean [Asociación Española de Estudios Anglo Norteamericanos], and his appearance, in Palacios’ words, “suscitó una enorme expectación” (sparked a huge buzz), “fue sorprendente” (was surprising) – “su producción poética, una de las más poderosas e influyentes de los últimos cincuenta años, es magnífica y variada, como se puso de manifiesto en aquel recital. Había en su tono y actitud algo grandioso, … Read More
The major poem, or what is considered the major poem (of Fernando Pessoa) was too long to include (in the anthology), it’s about a thirty-page shot, called “Maritime Ode”,
(Ode Marítima) about standing on the dock, looking out into space. Let’s see.. And he also gets into sound – “Ahò-ò-ò-ò-ò-ò-ò-ò-ò-ò-ò – yyy… Schooner ahò-ò-ò-ò-ò-ò-ò-ò-ò-ò-ò-ò-oò -yyy…” – he gets funny.. Let’s see if I can find that page, and he begins playing with the typeface. It’s an enormous long thing.. [Allen quotes from Pessoa’s “Maritime Ode] – “To be on with all those crimes, to be part … Read More