AG: Then there’s a remarkable poem, written in 1950 by somebody who was there, Georgy Ivanov – “fought in the First World War and in the Red Army and in the civil war, born in 1896. His early poetry with its cult of heroism owed much to (Nikolay) Gumilev, the Acmeist. In the mid (19)20’s, he was influenced by (Velimir) Khlebnikov and (Boris) Pasternak. Later… No, I’m sorry. Pardon me. I’m reading… I’ve got the wrong guy here! [Allen resumes with the correct information] – “1894, Georgi Ivanov, at first a … Read More
Allen’s July 30 1981 Expansive Poetics class (with particular emphasis on Russian literature) continues.
AG: I thought what we should do is I’ll read you just a few paragraphs about Acmeism now, and then we’ll get right into the poems of (Osip) Mandelstam, which I’ve been slowly circling about.
There’s a description of Acmeism, or a few paragraphs, by (Nikolay) Gumilev, who was a theoretician. I’m not going to be long on this, just so that you get some idea of their approach, … Read More
Allen’s Summer July/August 1981 Naropa class on “expansive” poetry (most especially, early twentieth-century Russian poetry) continues today with some preliminary “theoretical bullshit”
AG: (So). Going back. I want to go back and remind us of a poem that we had read which was by (Osip) Mandelstam, which is not in our (class) anthologies, and I’ll give you a version of that, and then an echo of that years later. That line, “We shall gather again in Petersburg.” [“B Петербурге мы сойдемся снова”], (because that begins to take on more poignance, when you realize that, by 1930, … Read More
A classic Ginsberg poem from the ‘Sixties, first published in the collection, Planet News
First Party At Ken Kesey‘s With Hell’s Angels
Cool black night thru redwoodscars parked outside in shadebehind the gate, stars dim abovethe ravine, a fire burning by the sideporch and a few tired souls hunched overin black leather jackets. In the hugewooden house, a yellow chandelier at 3 A.M. the blast of loudspeakershi-fi Rolling StonesRay CharlesBeatlesJumping Joe Jackson and twenty youthsdancing to the vibration thru the floor,a little weed in the bathroom, girls in scarlettights, one muscular smooth skinned mansweating dancing … Read More
Here’s a sweet little snippet of grainy video – Allen Ginsberg, in 1976, in Larry Rivers‘ loft in Manhattan, improvising a twelve-bar blues, recollecting the life-changing experience that he’d had the previous months (specifically, an extended Vajrayana meditation retreat, with his teacher Chogyam Trungpa and students, at a hastily-convened seminary at Land O’Lakes, in Northern Wisconsin)
– “I haven’t been … Read More
[Ernst Jandl (and Michael Horovitz) at the International Poetry Incarnation at The Royal Albert Hall in London, 1965]
AG: There’s a film actually…
Student (CC): Wholly Communion. Yeah, I’ve seen it. It’s around town
AG: In fact, we might try and get (it).. because the (Ernst) Jandl is on it, the Jandl (collaborative) piece is on it. Nineteen sixty-five..
Student (CC): It is..
AG: … (a) poetry reading in (London’s) Albert Hall. Then…
Student (CC): Wholly Communion – W-H-O-L-L-Y Communion
Student: (There’s another one)
AG: Pardon me?
Student: They had another one, “Poets Against the Bomb”, at the
Every so often, as part of his teaching practice in his classes at Naropa, Allen would instigate a class poem, a group poem, typically insisting that everyone take a hand at spontaneously completing the words of a given sentence. We’ve already featured a number of these experiments here and here and here. Here’s another one AG: Everyone knows what a list poem is? Anybody not know that phrase? When you say, “I’m going to vote for Ronald Reagan because I like the electric wires outside”, “I’m going to vote for Ronald Reagan because the light bulbs are … Read More