[Holy Poet-martyr St Robert Southwell And The Burning Babe (detail), William Hart McNichols 2015]
AG: How many were not here last time?. Well, okay.. Gordon Ball’s here and wants to take some pictures so if you don’t mind flashing.. lightning-bolts.. .burning babes… The last time, we dealt with “The Burning Babe” – Robert Southwell’s poem, (page) 186. I think I had assigned it so for those of you who haven’t read it, you can read it later, but the idea was that there was this weird image of a burning babe (how many were here then?), burning babe, … Read More
[A Cornfield By Moonlight With The Evening Star c.1830. Samuel Palmer (1805-1881)]
AG: So, there’s another interesting.. there’s a line in Sonnet 31. [of Sir Philip Sidney] The whole thing is great and it’s a very sad sweet sonnet. It was also one of (Jack) Kerouac’s favorites of all sonnets – “With how sad steps, O Moon..” (that’s a great line!) – “With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb’st..” page 177, Sonnet 31) –
With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb’st the skies!
AG: But (Henry Wadsworth) Longfellow, interestingly enough, (and) (Thomas) Campion, in the sixteenth Century tried out quantitative verse forms just to see if it could be done in English. Then, in the nineteenth-century, a whole raft of poets, in the mid nineteenth-century also tried out these rhythms more with an emphasis on the accentual stress part rather than on the quantitative. So there are great poems by (Algernon) Swinburne, (Alfred Lord) Tennyson (who was a fantastic prosodist, who knew all the different rhythms) – Swinburne, Tennyson, and, in America, … Read More
A Thanksgiving poem (from 1957)
SONG OF THE FEAST (for David Amram)
What feast of thee, blue wild body!
My relatives from the mire
wait outside thy plumage gate!
The raging cock, release!
Here the fox-spoon, ye ol’ fudder bucket!
An here the geese-bowl, ol’ gowdy!
Yez, dare the shaker-pep an the shaker blee-ack, too!
C’mon, bring o’er the radiator-soup!
Now we is a eatin, now we is a eatin—
Play the radio flea, ol’ fane
Yez,now we is a eatin an a listening, eatin an a listening —
Hey, blink, pass down the bread sink —
Ah, … Read More
AG: Well, I don’t know. What happened to the “of”? – [”That She, dear She might take some pleasure/Of my pain”] – “of my pain”, “pleasure of my pain” – That’s one of the problems of the transcription. So we’ll substitute the “That” for the “Of”, we’ve still got six
“Pleasure might cause her read,/ reading might make her know”, no, “Pleasure/ might cause her/ read,/ … Read More
AG: (Sir Philip) Sidney’s Sonnets are pretty funny. Number one, particularly – 176 – a couple of pages later – Remember Anne (Waldman) the other day read, in her reading, she read a sonnet that was.. “My love is like my love and she’s like me, and her heart heart like mine, and mine…” [Editorial note – “Two Hearts – After Sir Philip Sidney”‘ – (“She’s got my heart and I’ve got hers..”‘)]…(which) was an imitation of Astrophel and Stella, and probably the first..
[Allen Ginsberg with writer, raconteur, wit, Quentin Crisp, at the Kiev Restaurant, NYC, 1995]
Seventeen years since the passing of Quentin Crisp, the unforgettable Quentin Crisp.
Crisperanto – The Quentin Crisp Archives – are lovingly and comprehensively curated by archivist/curator Phillip Ward. So much extraordinary material there. Don’t miss it.
Here’s just a little sampling of the man himself, starting with his acting debut in the 1967 short, Captain Busby (based on a surreal poem by Philip O’Connor)
[Michael McClure, Mephistos & Other Poems, City Lights Books, November 2016]
Michael McClure‘s new book of poems has just been released by City Lights: “A landmark work of bio-romanticism, Mephistos and Other Poems is (McClure’s) first completely new collection in five years…. The title sequence, “Mephistos” stems from (his) ongoing “grafting” experiment, growing new poems from fragments of his older works. “Some Fringes: is a series of haiku-like nature poems, while the seventeen-part “Rose Breaths” derives from the poet’s practice of meditation. The freestanding poems grouped under the title “Being:” pay homage to many of McClure’s collaborators and fellow … Read More