Horace – 3


Picking up again on Allen’s 1980 “Sapphics” class, going through his classoom anthology  AG: So that was..  [Horace and Thomas Wyatt (bemoaning wasted opportunity)]  Okay..also, there’s a great poem by Francois Villon  about an old.. It’s called “Ballade de la belle  Heaumière  aux filles de joie”“The Complaint of the Fair Helm-Maker Grown Old”). It’s a real meticulous description, like her lacking her teeth, and the rheum matter of her eye, and the sagging belly collapsed –  a really horrific description!  This also refers a little bit to the Catullus that we just passed by, that we … Read More

Anselm Hollo on Some Modern Poets Fragmentation

 Anselm Hollo on Modern Fragmentation   June 25 1986 Continuing his remarks on fragmentation, poet-translator, Anselm Hollo looks at the concept in the work of seven of his contemporaries – Armand Schwerner, Ronald Johnson, Tom Phillips, Ted Berrigan, Larry Eigner, Tom Raworth, and Philip Whalen 

AH: I sort of went through my tattered memory to think about instances where contemporaries have used the idea of the fragment, or..something, done something related to that, and one very obvious example that came to mind is the American poet, Armand Schwerner, whose.. I would say his main … Read More

Anselm Hollo on Fragments


Sappho, fragments of  poems, Graeco-Roman Egypt, 2nd Century AD, in the collection of the Bodleian Library, Oxford


Anselm Hollo (1934-2013) teaching at Naropa

The following is a transcription of a class, given on June 25 1986, at Naropa, by the late much-missed poet-translator, polymath  Anselm Hollo, nominally on “The Greek Anthology” but, more specifically, on the poem as “fragment”.   In this first half, he addresses the notion, particularly with reference to Sappho (in Guy Davenport’s translation). In the second half (tomorrow), he gives several instances of where his contemporaries have “used the idea of the … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 236


Allen Ginsberg in 1994, throwing the opening pitch at a San Francisco Giants game – Photograph by Michael Macor/The San Francisco Chronicle

Steve Silberman gives a little of the back-story (in Our Allen) – “I was with Allen on this day when he got booed at Candlestick Park after throwing out the first pitch in a Giants game. When someone asked him if he was into baseball as a kid, he replied, “Are you kidding? I was a four-eyed sissy”. Jack Kerouac, however…  Here’s our 2010 post on that. 








 … Read More

William Carlos Williams’ Birthday



William Carlos Williams with his two sons, Paul and William, and his mother, circa 1918 (courtesy Beinecke Library, Yale, Special Collections

It’s William Carlos Williams’ birthday today, and to celebrate we’re featuring the earliest known recordings of him – dated January 9 1942 ((he was already, by then, a spry fifty-eight-years-old) – a reading for the National Council of Teachers of English and Columbia University Press Contemporary Poetry Series, that took place that year in New York.  The recordings are from that inestimable font – Pennsounds (we cannot speak too highly of them) – their collection of Williams … Read More

Horace – 2



AG: Pardon me? Student:  (“Thracian”)  (What’s the origin of “Thracian”?) AG:  Thrace – part of Greece. (Where is that, where Thrace is, mind you) – Thrace? What part of Greece is Thrace? – Orpheus lived in Thrace wasn’t it? The worst part.. (Pelopponesian Islands?)  Who knows Thrace? Student (1): Thrace is in Macedonia. Student (2) :  Sparta? AG: No, Sparta’s down south. Student: Sparta’s down South… AG: Oh god, we should all know this! – Thracia! – Oh – [Allen consults, again, his classical dictionary] – “In earlier times the name of the vast space … Read More

Horace (Latin Sapphics)

AG: Then Horace. Now Horace was the next of the Romans that picked up on the Catullun line and from Sappho. And we didn’t actually get to that, did we, at all? – did we ever bring up Horace, yet?  [to “Mike”] –  Do you have any Horace that you’re prepared to chuck out? or is it too sudden? – We have some in here [pointing to the classroom anthology],  so maybe do one (from) in here? – Can we find the first page of Horace translations? It’s abour half-way through.. half-way..a third of the way down maybe.. … Read More

Catullus (Latin Sapphics)


Gaius Valerius Catullus (c. 84 – 54 BC)

AG: So shall we go on.. [to John Burnett, Naropa student] – [did you prepare (φάινεταί μοι κῆνοσ ἴσοσ τηέοισιν) the phainetai moi (a) second Sappho poem)  too?] Student (John Burnett): No.. AG: Okay. Lets get on (then) to the…Catullus. On your way to the Catullus  [in your xerox Sapphics anthology} you’ll run across (Louis) MacNeice , after about eight pages or so – you see that MacNeice? – and Vernon Watkins? , two pages, about eight pages in –  June Thunder…. you see that? Everybody … Read More

Ginsberg’s Catullus



Gaius Valerius Catullus (c. 84 – 54 BC)

Allen to his brother Eugene, August 14, 1954: “You would love Catullus. I read a collection of translations edited by an Aiken [The Poems of Catullus – edited by William A Aiken (1950)], and am reading him in Latin now with aid of a pony. Selections in anthologies won’t give you the idea. Get a book of translations from all times, from library. The Aiken book is good, includes translations by Ben Jonson, Byron, Landor, Campion, etc”

And a few months later, to Jack Kerouac – “Dear … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 235

Featuring shots last week from 1967’s fabled Human Be-In. Here’s another one – from Lisa Law

[Allen Ginsberg, Human Be-In Golden Gate Park, 1967- Photograph © Lisa Law]

and here’s Lisa Law’s famous ecstatic one

[Allen Ginsberg, Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, 1967- Photograph © Lisa Law]

And here’s a couple more from the generous and talented Lisa

[Allen Ginsberg, Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, 1967- Photograph © Lisa Law]

[Allen Ginsberg, Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, 1967- Photograph © Lisa Law]

[Allen Ginsberg, Human Be-In, Golden Gate Park, 1967- Photograph © Lisa Law]

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