Studs Terkel 1959 Radio Interview – Part 2

Peter Orlovsky, Gregory Corso and Allen Ginsberg, 1959

continuing from yesterday– the Studs Terkel interview

Studs Terkel: Question, question. Anybody can answer it –  Do you believe you represent the young generation of poets today?

Gregory Corso and Allen Ginsberg & Peter Orlovsky: No, no, no, no, we’re pariahs!

AG: All we represent is ourselves. We couldn’t represent anybody else. The trouble is everybody’s going around trying to represent somebody else..

GC: Yeah, that’s terrible, that’s scarey.

AG: All I represent is me and all Gregory represents is him and all Peter represents is Peter.

PO:  All my whole life

AG: He represents his mother. Peter represents his mother and his three brothers and a sister.

GC: Yeah, and they’re all in the madhouse.

ST: I see… Allen..or Peter..

GC: Well you don’t think people go around trying to represent someone, do you?  You don’t represent anybody do you?

ST: I hope not.   Myself.

GC: But he’s got (href=””>Gustav) Mahler on the wall. Maybe he represents Mahler and Beethoven.
That’s alright…

AG: Oh, the only other thing we represent is a lot of dead poets.

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)

ST: You love dead poets.

AG: We represent a lot of dead poets too

ST: You represent a lot of dead poets

GC: Yes

AG: Like Whitman

ST: Whitman

GC: Whitman  and Hart Crane

AG: And Mayakovsky

Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930)

GC:  and Esenin and Hart Crane – and Shelley, of course

PO: Mayakovsky  with rainbows around his (clothes)

AG: Not to forget Christopher Smart

GC: Or Nashe (Thomas) Nashe –“Brightnesse falls from the aire”

AG: or.. Somebody’s got to represent Shakespeare in Chicago!

ST: I think our WFMT listeners should of course see our three young poets, and, of course, seeing them here is part of the story, of course. As they talk they make very vivid with hands and gestures.

AG: We wave our hands in the air, yeah.

ST: Yes.  Allen, you say you represent yourself..

AG: Yeah

ST: What do you represent as an individual? What’s your feeling about the world?
(It’s a general question, a leading question).

AG: Oh,  they change every day

ST: They change every day. Do you have any feelings of permanent…not permanent,
but..any solid feelings about the world today?

AG: Yes

ST: Howl seems to indicate that

AG: Yes. The world exists. In a way.. or…can I..  Yes yes. I’ll read a poem…

ST: Read a whole poem and then I want to ask you something.

AG: Ok, I’ll read a poem and then I’ll..  …well not only about the world, but about the whole universe!

ST: About the universe!

AG:The whole universe, yeah

GC: Not only Chicago and New York, all the universe.

AG: Okay. It’s a poem called “Poem (Rocket)”. It’s all about rockets – sputniks, luniks (sic), lunatics. Everything’s in the poem

GC: Put your heart in this.

ST: I’ve got to put my heart in. as you ‘re going to watch me, as I listen to Allen, and I better be on good behavior

to be continued

[Audio for the above (courtesy of PennSound)  can be heard here, beginning at approximately ten minutes in and concluding approximately twelve-and-a-quarter minutes in – 2018 update – audio no longer available

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