Basic Poetics – Ballads – (Brown Robyn’s Confession)

AG: There are some other ballads I’d like to cover (because we didn’t have a really good one with incest in it, or a stanza with incest), so there is “Brown Robyn” – (the) famous series, (the) “Brown Robyn” series – I’m working from the Penguin Book of Ballads by Geoffrey Grigson – and, maybe, if anybody has any other ballad books, there’s variants of it. It’s called (here) “Brown Robyn’s Confession” – “It fell upon a Wadensday/Brown Robyn’s men went to sea;/But they saw neither moon nor sun/Nor starlight with their e’e./”We’ll cast kevels us amang;/ See where the … Read More

William Burroughs, 1975 – 4 (Q & A)

                                         [William Burroughs – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg]

William Burroughs Q & A continued from yesterdayWSB: Speaking about the – where is my reference here? – about the whole matter of the Surrealist movement. which is, in a sense, some of the ideas were already there. The Surrealists actually got their start with Anatole France. At the time of his death, he was the most reveresd old man of letters in France and a member of the Académie fRead More

William Burroughs, 1975 – 3 (Q & A))

[William S Burroughs (1914-1997)] Continuing from last week’s William Burroughs June 12, 1975 Naropa class, we continue with the Q & A session, Burroughs covers a wide variety of topics.  Student: … It isn’t a question but, it was Lev Kuleshov who made the (cinematic) experimentsWSB:  Oh was it..    Let me write that down,Student:  KuleshovWSB: Who?Student: KuleshovWSB: How do you spell it?Student: K-U-L-E-S-H-O-VWSB: K-U-L-E-S-H..?Student: O-VWSB:  O-VStudent: The actor was (Ivan) Muzzhukhin WSB: Did you see it?Student: No

Student; What was the Roeg film? What was the Nicolas Roeg film?WSB: Performance. With Mick Jagger. It was a good film. I … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 272


                                             [Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg – Photo by Elsa Dorfman] “Did Allen Ginsberg Secretly Want To Be Bob Dylan?” from Seth Rogovoy‘s mischievously-titled review of Last Word on First Blues, (the new Allen Ginsberg 3-cd box-set) in the Jewish Daily Forward : “Let’s start right from the beginning by getting this out of the way: Allen Ginsberg was no Bob Dylan, But Bob Dylan is no Allen Ginsberg either. However, the funny thing is that the two of them, each top in his chosen field, seem to have aspirations to be the other..”  … Read More

Bill Berkson (1939-2016)


  [Bill Berkson (1939-2016)]

With great sadness, we report today the death of our dear friend, poet and art critic,  Bill Berkson.  A born-and-bred New Yorker (charter-member of the“New York School“) but gloriously bi-coastal (a long-time resident too of  San Francisco, he was professor emeritus and taught writing and art history at the Art Institute there for over 25 years). His art writings can be found in three lucid and essential volumes, The Sweet Singer of Modernism and Other Writings (2004), Sudden Address- Selected Lectures 1981-2006 (2007) and For The Ordinary Artist (2011) (as well as in many … Read More

Poetry Comics

[Eric Drooker‘s  Illustrations for “Howl”]
[ Robert Sikoryak comics mash-up of Walt Whitman and Jack Kirby]

Poetry comics  –  Poetry as comics – The Aristophanes of the genre, as he has been called is Dave Morice. His Poetry Comics – A Cartoonverse of Poems appeared in 1980 from Simon and Schuster.Two further anthologies followed. More Poetry Comics – Abuse the Muse (from A Cappella/Chicago Review Press) in 1994, and Poetry Comics – An Animated Anthology (from Teachers and Writers Collaborative) in 2002    Here’s another panel of Morice’s Whitman

More of  Dave Morice’s The Adventures … Read More

Basic Poetics – Ballads – (“The Bitter Withy”)

AG: “The Bitter Withy” (on page one-hundred-and-seven) has one exquisite line in it. Well, there’s one pretty Donovan-esque line  (Donovan? the English [Irish -sic] ballad-maker of contemporary days?) – stanza six (it’s about the little Saviour, out playing with his friends and being put down by his friends, and (he) announces himself to them, and then, “Our Saviour built a bridge with the beams of the sun,/And over He gane, He gane He/And after followed the three jolly jerdins/And drownded they were all three” – I don’t know what the.. “Drownded” – that’s funny, because people do say … Read More

The Path of Peace

This is what should be doneBy one who is skilled in goodness,And who knows the path of peace:Let them be able and upright,Straightforward and gentle in speech.Humble and not conceited,Contented and easily satisfied.Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,Not proud and demanding in nature.Let them not do the slightest thingThat the wise would later reprove.Wishing: In gladness and in saftey,May all beings be at ease.Whatever living beings there may be;Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,The seen and the unseen,Those living near and far … Read More

Basic Poetics – Ballads – (Bonnie George Campbell)

AG: The next [ballad up for discussion] is “Bonnie George Campbell“ –  That has a funny lilt in it . It’s sometimes written out in couplets rather than four-line stanzas. Is anybody good at dactylic or anapestic – da-da-da  da-da-da  da-da-da  da. Anybody want to read that?. That’s short enough, we might want to read it through – “Bonnie George Campbell”. Would anybody.. has it through enough to want to try?[One student volunteers]   – OkayStudent: It’s a fast-paced kind of poemAG: Just to get the.. just to get the dactylics going…Student:  “Hie upone Highlands/and lay upon … Read More

William Burroughs 1975 – 2

We continue with our transcription from yesterday of William Burroughs’ June 12 1975 lecture at Naropa InstituteWSB: Any product or invention is standardized by mass-production and this standardization of the product discourages further experimentation. Since the motor industry can sell (or, rather, could,, until up to a few months ago) as many cars with internal combustion engines as they could produce, they didn’t want to know about jet turbine engines. Of course the turbine engine’s better, more efficient, but why bother with a better product if you can sell what’s already in production? And this consideration applies to the … Read More