Surkov on Allen & Tupac (& Jackson Pollock)

Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)

It’s not every day you get such a glorious global name-check!
(new Cold War name-dropping/ name-calling?)

Vladislav Surkov, the Russian power-broker, eminence grise (and, now, under-the-sanctions-of-the-US  Russian power-broker)

File:Vladislav Surkov in 2010.jpeg

whose rendition of Allen’s “Sunflower Sutra we featured here last year.

Here it is again in case you missed it (it begins approximately two-minutes in))

So, his statement, made to the Russian newspaper, Moskovsky Komsomolets:

“…The only things that interest me in the U.S. are Tupac Shakur, Allen Ginsberg, and Jackson Pollock. I don’t need a visa to access their work. I lose nothing.”

Tupac, Allen and Jackson Pollock, eh? – so that’s the troika?

Tupac Shakur (1971-1996

Jackson Pollock (1912-1956)


  1. let's face it will pound be remembered for his pro fascist radio broadcasts or his poetry? Ginsberg in all his political pontifications, the CIA and the War Machine no doubt was right on target but is that his legacy? absolutely not. He will be a part of every poet's canon until time has ceased not for his politics but for his poetry. We'd like to diminish the importance of his poetry and elevate his politics because it's like being in kindergarten versus graduate school….the political stuff is easy it's the poetics that are the real challenge

  2. sorry in a hundred years no one will know or care about Tupac, but they will know and read and study Allen Ginsberg. To piggy back tupac on the back of Ginsberg is like those birds that ride the backs of rhinos. Tupac did nothing except what was topical, I understand his ephemeral talent but trust me no one will give a shit about rap and tupac 100 years from now, but they will give immense homage to Ginsberg and his poetry, ie Kaddish.

  3. Trust me, people will remember Tupac Shakur in 100 years, they just might not be white people. Tupac's mother was a black panther and is immortalized in songs like 'Dear Mama". His music reflects a new writing style and a political reflection of his times. Sound like any other poet you know? Be careful of not examining the artistic form before you criticize it. I love Allen. I love Pollack. I love Tupac.

  4. Agree with anonymous! Tupac wasnt only a talented rapper…he was so much more!! I love the idea of bringing them.together..both extraordinary people.

  5. I am a Brit. This why I need to read every day. Corso once said (I was there) after his first trip to Oxford (with Alan) that the Brit poets are all National Health poets. We’ve all become National health inmates – this is why few Brits need to read what we can read here. Pound said, MAKE IT NEW. These guys certainly have!

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