AG: There are two things I wanted to do today. One is go through some more (William Carlos) Williams, to extend from his breath out into the room, to see how he observed the room itself, things going on in the room. I’ve run over some of these poems before in previous years, for those of you who were in the class. It’s not too many, I guess, now. So….“Good Night”
Student: What page?
AG: Page 145, Collected Earlier Poems. “To him who wants it.” The title of this book was Al Que Quiere – “to whoever who
AG: The next stage, classically, in Buddhist thought, in Buddhist structure, is Vipassina. Does everybody know what that is? From Samatha to Vipassina. Raise your hand if you do. Raise them. Come on. If you don’t, raise your hand. Okay. So the majority don’t know that Samatha-Vipassana philosophy distinction, which is like a great subtle, very interesting shot.
Vipassina means insight. Samatha means quietening. Vipassana means insight.
AG: We started on breath last time. We started on one poem which I’ll re-read now since some of you have had a little bit more experience with your breath. (William Carlos Williams‘) “Thursday” – I’m re-reading this for those who drifted in and out, who weren’t paying attention, didn’t get it the first time, who weren’t here the first time – [Allen begins reading] … Read More
More vintage Beat Generation footage this weekend. Both of these we’ve featured before – in fact, if you turn to our column on the right-hand side of the page, you will find a whole list of “streaming videos”.[Editorial note – This reference is no longer pertinent, refering to an earlier and no longer continued configuration of this web site] These two early film clips stand out, however. The first comes with an additional mystery – who shot it? Robert Frank was one informed and plausible guess, but he denies it. Whoever it is behind the camera is comfortable, relaxed, … Read More
The anniversary today of the suicide of Vachel Lindsay
1931 -Eighty-three years ago..
His doctors at the time discretely reported his death as having been the result of heart failure,
but it was actually suicide – from drinking, in manic despair, an almost-full bottle of domestic cleaner, Lysol
His famous last words? – “I got them before they could get me”
Allen’s 1958 poem To Lindsay
Vachel, the stars are out
dusk has fallen in the Colorado Road
a car crawls slowly across the plain
in the dim light the radio blares its jazz
the heartbroken saleasman lights another cigarette
… Read More
[“Rarely, Rarely, Comest Thou Spirit of Delight (Portrait of Keats and Shelley)”- Gregory Corso, c.1994, (31 1/2″ x 35″), oil on canvas (originally collection of Allen Ginsberg)]
AG: Those who studied with me before or who have worked with me before this may be repeating some matter. Has anybody here read Shelley’s “Adonais”? Can you raise your hand? Has anybody here not ever heard of it? Raise your hand if you haven’t. Come on, you never heard of it there. So (raise your hand). You never heard of it, did you? Okay, so you can raise your hand … Read More
AG: More breath would be in (Percy Bysshe) Shelley. See, now, spirit.. divagating a little.. the reason that’s interesting (meditation poetics) is poetry is vocalized. The vocalization is out on the breath. So, in any case, we’re going to be dealing with the out-breath, one kind of out-breath or another – whether a silent out-breath or an out-breath full of vowels and consonants. An out-breath full of vibrations or (whatever) We’ve still got to recognize the breath as the ultimate spirit of poetry and breath is spirit. Spirit – spiritus. Latin. What is spiritus?
Allen Ginsberg’s Meditation and Poetics class continues
Student: I just wanted to speak to the connection, the connection between the type of poetry you’re talking about and sitting, which to me seems that the poem is there and if you’re sitting properly you’ll be able to be aware of it, and it’ll go through you and you write it down, great, otherwise you’re there.
AG: Well, okay. We haven’t figured out … a poem is words, I guess. Well, there’s the conception and then there’s the words for the conception. There may be some extra little art in … Read More
Continuing this week with Allen’s 1978 lectures on Meditation and Poetics
Student: Allen, when the thought comes, as I won’t try to categorize it, to purport the possibility that one pushes poetry, or one actually receives it, but, like, they do pass.. it.. Now, (so), as it comes, they have a responsibility to, perhaps, the nature of the thought to..(so)
AG: Who has…? Who (What) are you talking about?
Student:As, say, in a philosophical sense, the body as the receptacle for thought, does it … its responsibility (then) is to project that (thought)..
AG:Responsibility No, I don’t think there’s anything … Read More