More Ballads – (Willy O’ Winsbury)

[“Under the Eildon tree Thomas met the Lady” – “illustration by Katherine Cameron from Thomas the Rhymer (retold by Mary MacGregor, 1908)]

AG: “Thomas the Rhymer” is a very famous one. The first line is… (It) sort of echoes – “True Thomas lay o’er yon grassy bank” – you know that phrase? – “True Thomas..”? – That’s come through some kind of cultural unconscious, from this ballad, “Thomas the Rhymer”. “O..” – and, in that, there’s several great lines. He’s going.. He’s going to Elfland. He’s being conjured, and tells what.., or seduced into Elfland – ““O see … Read More

More Ballads (Thomas the Rhymer & Tam Lin)

[“Under the Eildon tree Thomas met the Lady” – “illustration by Katherine Cameron from Thomas the Rhymer (retold by Mary MacGregor, 1908)]

AG: “Thomas the Rhymer” is a very famous one. The first line is… (It) sort of echoes – “True Thomas lay o’er yon grassy bank” – you know that phrase? – “True Thomas..”? – That’s come through some kind of cultural unconscious, from this ballad, “Thomas the Rhymer”. “O..” – and, in that, there’s several great lines. He’s going.. He’s going to Elfland. He’s being conjured, and tells what.., or seduced into Elfland – ““O see … Read More

Gay Pride Weekend

[Peter Orlovsky & Allen Ginsberg, 1963. Richard Avedon courtesy The Richard Avedon Foundation; “I’m Gay For Ginsberg” t-shirt;  Allen Ginsberg with unidentified friend, c.1968  courtesy The Allen Ginsberg Estate]  

 

Gay Pride Weekend – We draw your attention, first off, to this important posting here. Our Gay Pride 2011 post is here, 2012’s posting here. 

We just had to – once again, in case you didn’t know, remind you of the Whitman-Ginsberg (and onward!) “Gay Succession”

[Gavin Arthur aka Chester Alan Arthur III (1901-1972), “who slept with Edward Carpenter who slept with Walt Whitman – who slept with..”
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Basic Poetics – Ballads – (Alison Gross)

[Vittore Carpaccio – San Giorgio e il drago (St.George and the Dragon)]

[Giovanni Bellini  St. George and the Dragon, the left panel of the Pesaro altarpiece]

AG: And then – Magic.. – (page) fifty-one – If any of you know paintings by Carpaccio? or other similar fellows – Bellini? – of the Saint.. killing the dragon.. what was it, St George killing the dragon?, and the dragons are usually very strange little intimately-conceived monsters out of somebody’s psychedelic moment of fourteenth-century or thirteenth-century. There’s a sort of equivalent set of dragons here, and … Read More

Basic Poetics – Ballads – (Harpkin & Fin & The Fause Knight Upon The Road)

[“The False Knight on the Road – illustration by Charles Vess]

AG: And then there is an early version of rapping, and capping, and styling out, and the dirty dozens, between “Harpkin” and “Fin” and the Harpkin ballad – ( A “brae”, (by the way), is a hill , “strae”, a straw, “thrave” is twenty-four sheaves)

“Harpkin gaed up to the hill./ (He) blew his horn loud and shrill/ And by came Fin./”What for stand you there?”, quo Fin./”Spying the weather”, quo Harpkin./ “What for had you your staff on your shoulder?”, quo Fin/ To haud … Read More

Gay Pride Weekend

Gay Pride Weekend

“Enough, I’ve stayed up all might with these boys/And all my life enjoyed their handsome joys/I came with many companions to this Dawn/Now I am tired and must set my pen down/Reader, Hearer, this time Understand/How kind it is for man to love a man/Old love and Present, future love the same/Hear and Read what love is without shame./I want people to understand. They can! They can! They can!/So open your ears and hear the voice of the classical band.”

“Old Love Story” (from the collection White Shroud (1986)) in its entirety

Some think the love … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 273

[Bernard Plossu – Mexique, Le Voyage méxicain, 1966 © Bernard Plossu]

Opening this week in Paris at the Centre Pompidou, another big Beat exposition (see our announcement back in April). This ambitious multi-media exhibition (up until October 3rd) comprises over six hundred different items – photographs, texts, documents, films, videos, paintings, drawings – and objects and devices for reproducing text, image and sound. A high point is, of course, the presentation of the famous “On The Road” scroll, the thirty-six meter- (one-hundred-and-eighteen foot-) long roll of teletype paper on which Kerouactyped up his fabled text. … Read More

1969 – Allen Ginsberg Wins His Case in Miami

A little bit of history, brought to us, courtesy of the Lyn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Picture Archives. 

In 1969, at a reading with his father, Louis Ginsberg, in Miami’s Marine Stadium, Allen’s microphone was egregiously and unceremonially cut-off. Manny Costa, the stadium manager (along with Paul Andrews, assistant city manager) interrupted and summarily curtailed the reading, arbitrarily declaring it to be “obscene”. Allen took the incident to court, arguing that the action violated his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech. The Judge, Judge Carl Clyde Atkins, ruled unequivocally in his favor:

“While Costa’s actions may … Read More

Ferlinghetti on Ginsberg & Blake et al

A brief respite from the ballads today (but more song!)  – and more anon! – one recent You Tube-posted-video that we missed (from a few weeks back, from April of this year) –  spry nonagenarian Lawrence Ferlinghetti attempting William Blake‘s joyous “The Nurse’s Song” (“and all the hills echo-ed”), and, recollecting fondly the genius of his dear friend Allen. 

This short film by Mauro Aprile ZanettiFernanda Pivano – Complice La Notte” begins with discussion and appreciation of Allen’s great Italian translator, Fernanda Pivano, before moving in to more general discussion of the Beats and of Allen … Read More

Basic Poetics – Ballads – (The Wee Wee Man)

           [“The Wee Wee Man – Vernon Hill –  detail from illustrations to Ballads Weird and Wonderful (1912)]  

AG: Then there’s another one that had a very… a ballad called “The Wee Wee Man”, that had very pretty fairy imagery. You know, like, as you will find in Helen Adam‘s later ballads, there’s that..like as  “the bridge of golden beams” (sic). There is.. Well there is some combination of humor and delicacy, just like in Shakespeare.

A little dwarf, a “wee wee man”, stops a Lady and takes her to her castle … Read More