Expansive Poetics – 18 (Fernando Pessoa – 3)

[Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) aged 26, in 1914]

Allen’s observations on Fernando Pessoa continue 

AG:  ….like in Whitman. This [Fernando Pessoa’s “Poem in a Straight Line”]  is parallel to the line that he [Walt Whitman] has, “These are the thoughts of all men in all ages.” And that’s a great declaration of Whitman – “These thoughts are not my own but these are the thoughts of all men in all times in all ages. And the next poem (of Pessoa’s) begins, “Tobacco Shop” (Tabacaria) – “I am nothing/That’s all I’ll ever be/Nothing with no willpower to be … Read More

University of Toronto’s Allen Ginsberg Photography Collection

The University of Toronto announced today the receipt, thanks to a bequest by the Larry and Cookie Rossy Family Foundation, of 7,686 photographs and 236 silver gelatin prints (including many original snapshots and uniquely-inscribed prints), making them now home to, undoubtedly the world’s largest collection of Allen Ginsberg photographs.  The photographs span the years between 1944 and 1997 and comprise pretty much a complete collection of Allen’s extraordinary picture-taking career.  “This is an exciting and remarkable gift”, declared U of T President Marc Gertler, “(a)..truly fascinating collection”. Others went further, “This fabulous collection provides both scholars and students … Read More

Expansive Poetics 17 – Fernando Pessoa – 2


[Portrait of Fernando Pessoa by Almada Negreiros, 1954]

AG: “I’m going to take off my tie!”…

Student: Wow, he was a pretty restricted guy!..

AG: Yes, but in his imagination, Whitmanic… but funnier than Whitman, in a way. It’s a parody of  Whitman. It’s taking Whitman up on his word totally and taking it to such a total extreme that Whitman becomes a reductio ad absurdum. And, at the same time, it gives us the same sentimental good wil, charm, humane imagination, tolerance, amusement as Whitman. Just taking Whitman further and becoming a Whitman-freak, a Whitman fanatic, taking … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 16 (Fernando Pessoa – 1)

File:CCI00768.jpg [ [Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935)]


Allen’s lecture from June 1981 on “Expansive Poetics” continues

AG: (Walt Whitman) – What sort of response did he get? This (Leaves of Grass, first edition) is 1855. What I would like to do now is jump ahead in time. (we might come back to Whitman, but we have (as base) his main statement of self as extendible). Then there was Fernando Pessoa, who was born in Lisbon on June 13, 1888, and died in 1935, during the great world depression. In Lisbon, he read Walt Whitman, and, around World War … Read More

Gregory Corso & Allen Ginsberg Interview William Burroughs (Journal For The Protection of All Beings) 1961

[William Seward Burroughs Tanger Villa Mouneria, 1961, his garden room, time of intense Cut-up prose experiments, Nova Express tracing controllers of hypertechnologic planetary disaster “along the  word lines” of their propaganda imagery back to the image bank.” Probably “a trust of giant insects in another galaxy” manipulating their human hosts to wreck the earth with radioactive crap so another life form could move in and take over the territory – photo c. The Allen Ginsberg Estate]

William Burroughs Centennial, and we at the Allen Ginsberg Project will be spotlighting various Burroughs and Ginsberg-and-Burroughs-related materials in the months to come. … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 161

Thirteen years ago today since Gregory Nunzio Corso passed away. We certainly won’t forget him. Here’s the opening track from the album, “Not In My Back Yard” by the Southern Italian band, Nimby – “Thin Lines Among Them”, dedicated to him, and scored to footage from Matteo Scarfo‘s upcoming movie “Bomb! Burning Fantasy”, a meditation on Gregory’s poetry and life, (which will feature Nick Mancuso in the daunting role of.. Gregory). 
Corso is all over The Allen Ginsberg Project. How about here, here, here, here, here, here and here? and how … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 15 – (Walt Whitman – 4)

Image 003

[Walt Whitman (1819-1892), 1854 – Steel Engraving – Photograph by Samuel Hollyer of a lost Daguerrotype by Gabriel Harrison – “The engraving appeared in the 1855 and 1856 editions of “Leaves of Grass“, then again in the 1876 and 1881-82 (and following editions)..In reprinting it in the 1881 edition, Whitman insisted on its facing “Song of Myself”, because the portrait “is involved as part of the poem”]

The end (of Whitman’s “Song of Myself”) is interesting. I’d like to read the last three sections (sections 50, 51 and 52) , because they really do outreach him. I mean, he … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 14 (Walt Whitman – 3)


[“Monstrous sauroids transported it in their mouths and deposited it with care”]

AG: Well, he (Whitman) says, in section 44 (of “Song of Myself”) – “It is time to explain myself”, at long last – “Let us stand up./ What is known I strip away/ I launch all men and women forward into the Unknown/ The clock indicates the moment – but what does eternity indicate?/ We have thus far exhausted trillions of winters and summers,/ There are trillions ahead, and trillions ahead of them./ Births have brought us richness and variety,. And other births will bring us … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 13 – Walt Whitman – 2

[Walt Whitman (1819-1892), 1854]

Student: (It) seems like sometimes he (Whitman)’s trying to make an attempt to justify himself, or says that what, what he’s doing, and just exactly what he’s doing, is exactly what he should be doing, and.. and neither.. that’s what Ihear, or, I guess, (it’s) what I hear

AG: Un-hmm. Yeah. What’s his reasoning?
Student: Well, he’s a..  This is “Song of Myself”..
AG: Yeah
Student: .. but this is a later edition.
AG: Yeah, this is the final edition.
Student:  Final edition, So he took so much criticism for his initial publishing, even … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 12 (Walt Whitman – 1)

Walt Whitman
AG: With (Walt) Whitman what I want to do is.. With Whitman I thought now we’re getting into the heart of the 20th Century expansion and expansiveness. So what I’ll do next – this class and the next class (is ) – a sequence of Whitman, followed by sons of Whitman or admirers of Whitman –  heroic poets reflecting Whitman.  So it would be Fernando Pessoa in Portugal, 1904, writing an “Ode to Walt Whitman” (Saudação a Walt Whitman), and then (Federico) Garcia Lorca
Student: How do you spell that?
AG: P-E-S-S-O-A – Fernando Pessoa. He’s the … Read More