A Ginsberg Parody – “I know of a baby..”

Detail from “Virgin and Child Adored by the Infant St John” – Lucas Cranach, the Elder, circa 1512-14

Following yesterday’s student presentations, Allen presents his own “I Syng Of A Mayden” parody

AG: I have a poem that’s practically virginal (in comparison), virgin but I switch sexes. Anybody else got one? – (because I’m eager to get on with mine) – Okay, well I’ll give you mine then, anyway, then I’ll get on with it – “I Know Of A Baby”

Allen proceeds to reads his poem – ” I know of a baby..”

“I know of a baby which is never born/ Deathless human wisdom and lovers heart forlorn./ He sits down in silence there in mindfulness/. So we and our violence are calm as for a kiss. He sits down in silence that we guess at his power/ so we with our violence are calm as for the hour/ He sits down in silence there to speak so clear/ that we with our violence are calm that we can hear./ Born not a baby, made never not one cry/, Little lonely laddie will not close his eye.”

Buddhist, you know, double-negative unborn) and included mindfulness of body, speech and mind. Violence? – that the mindfuness, power and speech.. (some rough equivalents of body-speech and mind there -or mind, body and speech) So, I had a little bit of theology in it of one kind or another..

[Allen obliges and reads the poem once more]

“Laddie”’s a bit corny there. Also, (what) I was trying to do was imitate – even the rhymes, I think “power and hour” for “shower” and “flower” – and “mindfulness” and “kiss” for, they had, “ches”.. So let’s see where are we now?

[Audio for the above can be heard here beginning at approximately thirty-nine-and-a-quarter minutes in and concludimg at approximately forty-one-and-a-half minutes in]

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