Expansive Poetics – 25 – (Respondez!)


AG: So I wanted to continue with (Walt) Whitman‘s children (one of them is in Russia, someone whom we’ll pick up on later on (Velimir) Khlebnikov, the Futurist writer.  But before we get to Khlenbnikov, there’s one other poem of Whitman’s which I would like to add to our anthology). In one shortened form, there’s about a five-line version of it in the regular Whitman books. Let’s see if we can find that. I have it around here somewhere. Wait a minute.. It’s called “Refusals”, in my book, it’s page 281 in a standard Whitman text … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Dot Org – New Web-Site


A big big announcement today. It’s been a  long-time in the making. Today sees the launch of our totally refurbished web-site – Allen Ginsberg dot org. Initially launched in 2002, that site, we’ll be the first to admit, was getting a little long-in-the-tooth. Twelve years is a long time (and an eternity if you’re talking about the internet!), so, for the past couple of years, assisted by dedicated web professionals and a wise cadre of devoted Ginsberg scholars, we’ve been revamping. Special thanks to Ghan Patel for the design & back end work, and hats off to Wyeth … Read More

Song (“The weight of the world is love”)

We’ve been wanting to post this one for a while – and today’s the perfect day. From Jerry Aronson‘s absolutely-definitive DVD , The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg (and posted here with his generosity and permission), Allen’s extraordinarily-moving 1992 recitation of his poem,”Song” – “The weight of the world is love” – It is indeed. Happy Valentine’s Day!

and as an added little bonus (it being the Burroughs’ Centennial):

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Expansive Poetics – 24 (Lorca on Dali)

[Federico Garcia Lorca and Salvador Dali c.1925]

Expansive Poetics – June 30 1981, a new class. Allen takes up, once again, briefly, after he left of, with further remarks on Federico Garcia Lorca and the wider context of European modernism – and a read-through/analysis of Lorca’s poem, “Oda a Salvador Dali”  AG: .. my own method was, as I conceived it, taking the naturalistic long-line of (Walt) Whitman, or the naturalistic humanistic open form, and combining (it) with the mind-jumps of twentieth-century post-Einstein-ian Surrealism. Because (Albert) Einstein‘s Theory of Relativity was actually conceived around 1907-1917, about … Read More

Reading Out-Loud – A Diversion 3

Allen continues his June 25 1981 disquisition on the performance and the reading out loud of poetry.

 AG: One problem is that some people have an idea of poetry which is mono-tonal. Like Richard (Poe),who (originally) asked the question, reads poetry in a monotonal (way), one tone – and a lot of people do, Somehow when you fall into reading poetry you just get into some kind of half-chant, half-croon, half poetical-sounding trance voice (which is not exactly a trance voice but just a conventional voice for poetry) and you get stuck there. One reason people do that is … Read More

Reading Out Loud – A Diversion – 2

Greek prosody has a system for each vowel of up, down, or middle. Rising tones, falling tones, and marked by a circumflex (the little mark, the little upside-down “v” mark) up and down. And I think the first book of Homer’s The Iliad  has one word – “Peleus” – which is both up and down. “Sing , oh muse, of the wrath of Achilles, Peleus’ son” – son of Peleus – so that would be marked in Greek line (with an) up and down accent.

That was formal in Greek. There’s no such consideration formally in American or English.

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Reading Out Loud – A Diversion – 1

In the middle of his 1981 Expansive Poetics course (at the beginning of the June 25th class), Allen breaks off into a discourse about vocalization and the various skills required in reading the poem out loud. He goes into some detail. A transcription of his commentary follows here 

AG: Well last night at a party I was talking with Richard Poe, who is an apprentice, and I couldn’t figure it out exactly what he wanted to apprentice to me about, what our relationship was, poetically. And, drunk, last night he said, “I figured it out finally. What I wanted, … Read More

Neal Cassady’s Birthday

[Neal Cassady – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg c. The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]

[Neal Cassady – original manuscript for “The First Third”]

Neal Cassady‘s birthday today, “cocksman and Adonis of Denver”. Had he lived, he would have been 88 years old.

Hear him with The Grateful Dead quietly noodling behind him (recorded live at The Strait Theater, San Francisco, July 23 1967)

Listen again, driving the bus for the Merry Pranksters, rapping some more Hear some recollections from some of his friends

Here‘s Beat artist Robert Branaman recalling his friendship with Neal Cassady – filmed by … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 164

[William Burroughs circa 1953 – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg c. The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]

Tonight in London

Picture Tonight in New York City

Meanwhile, in Bloomington, Indiana (a lot of activity going down)

So William Burroughs Centennial week passes (tho’ plenty more Centennial events to come – look out for a flood of New York City events, for example, in April)

In New York, Marshall Weber gave/presented a marathon reading at the Munch Gallery.  In London, Iain Sinclair spoke (“Ghosts of A Ghost, William Burroughs Time Surgery and the Death of the Image”). In Paris, Cabaret Toxique Read More

William S Burroughs – A Photo Portfolio

We’ve done this a couple of times before, but thought, in honor of the Centennial, to do it once again, a little portfolio of William by Allen and William and Allen.
linked-image [William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg in Lawrence, Kansas – Photograph c. Pat Elliott ] [Allen and William, Lawrence, KS, May 30, 1991. photo probably snapped by James Grauerholz with Allen’s camera]

[William with Rusky (the Russian Blue), and Allen, Lawrence, KS,  March 18, 1992. photo likely snapped by James Grauerholz with Allen’s camera.] 

[William rowing across Lone Star Lake near Lawrence, KS, May 30, 1991. photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate] 

[Allen… Read More