New Years Greeting


[Allen Ginsberg]


[Ron Padgett]

From the recently-published Wait Till I’m Dead – Uncollected Poems (edited by Bill Morgan), a “New Years poem” (written in New York, “2 a.m. January 4, 1992”, and published in The Northern Centinel volume 205, number 4. Fall 1993)


(for Ron Padgett)


It is a beauteous evening calm and free

Spanish voices on Our Lady Help of Xtians steps

a new year’s come, eternity & I can’t eat baloney

& avoiding any salt probably can’t drink Schweppes


You’ve got to hand it to the Doctor’s Hospital

Your heart your … Read More

Friday December 30 – Patti Smith’s 70th birthday



Patti Smith turns 70 today. She’ll be performing tonight, in Chicago, at the Riviera Theatre, with her band, part of an on-going tour celebrating the release of her groundbreaking 1975 debut album, Horses

What a year it’s been for Patti! (always quite a year for Patti! – poet as rock-star, poet as performer, poet as activist)

Poet as upholder of lineage and tradition – So, most recently, the extraordnary rendition of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” at the Nobel Prize ceremonies, honoring Nobel laureate, Bob Dylan

She writes … Read More

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 20 – 1 (“Something of a key”)


[“A woman’s face with nature’s own hand painted/Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion”]

AG: Where is that now? Where are Shakespeare’s sonnets in this book ?

Student:   (Page) 212

AG:  Pardon me?

Student(s):  (Page) 212

AG: I began with the… what the..? “So long lives this and this gives life to thee” Sonnet – Sonnet 18 – didn’t I? – Didn’t we cover that, you know, as an example, of the prophesy of immortality for the poem? – Do you… How many people here have read Shakespeare’s Sonnets at one time or another? And how many have not ever … Read More

Review/Preview (Logopoeia in Shakespeare)


[Ezra Pound’s – Literary Essays  (New Directions, 1968) & Louis Zukofsky’s A Test of Poetry (Objectivist Press, 1948 – reprinted Wesleyan University Press, 2000)]

AG: What I’ve covered so far in this course, I don’t know if you’ve noticed (because I didn’t notice till I was walking up here tonight) was..I started with some definition by (Ezra) Pound – melopoeia (music), phanopoeia.. (phanopoeia – the picture cast in the mind’s eye, melopoeia, the music of the language, and logopoeia, “the dance of intellect among words”). That’s the… so it’s the.. According to (Louis) Zukofsky, his words for the same … Read More

A Brief History of the Sonnet Form


AG: So..there are a couple of things we could do today. We started on… we went through Adonais – the immortality shot – the breath of immortality  is what we dealt with last time, and that led in to the immortal sonnets of William Shakespeare and the sonnet form. You’ve gone through sonnets, a lot of you, in Anne (Waldman)’s class – How many? – Did you cover the history of the sonnet at all?

Student: Briefly

AG: Briefly, oh well. I’ll do it fairly briefly.According to the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry.. and my own recollection, there were Italian … Read More

“Only Objectfied Emotion Endures”


[cover of February 1931 issue of Poetry magazine (“Objectivists” issue) edited by Louis Zukofsky]

AG: [in media res] …(partly how it) turns out. We’ll find something. Something, We’ll do something. Maybe we’ll give them chocolate.. PO: No, it’s bad for your teeth. (Give them) carrots.

[tape/class begins with miscellaneous student announcements (students requested to hand in their “self-evaluation forms”)] 

“Only objectified emotion endures” (Louis Zukofsky)

AG:  I have one short explanation. I’ve used the word(s)  “objectified emotion”  – “Only objectified emotion ensures” – But, just to make sure that the word is not misunderstood. It doesn’t mean “objective, as – … Read More

Saturday December 24 (Christmas Weekend)

A little vintage ditty (from 1971 – New York City and New York City tenement woes), included in First Blues – Rags, Ballads & Harmonium Songs (1975) – and on First Blues, the 1981 Folkways album), followed by “MacDougal Street Blues” (another cut from the same source)


Christmas  Come Back New York City Died Last Year New Year Come Back Big City Died Last Year Dead On Her Big Stone Feet No Lightbulb Shed One Tear

O Mister Santa Claus How Come Ya Still Coming Round Historic Reindeer Flying The Same Old Ground Anyway You Northpole … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 297


[Daniel Radcliffe as the young Allen Ginsberg in “Kill Your Darlings (2013)”]

Film Friday -Remember Daniel Radcliffe‘s portrayal of Allen Ginsberg in John Krokidas‘ 2013 film, Kill Your Darlings – Krokidas’ revelations about Radcliffe’s Allen and playing a “sex scene” have been getting a bit of traction.


“Growing up with queer films, there was always some sort of stigma attached to gay characters or gay sexuality, and I didn’t want the sex scene to feel like that in any way. I wanted the arc of the scene to go from nervousness to a place of pure enjoyment … Read More

Homework – Shakespeare’s Sonnets


Peter Orlovsky; What’s our work for Friday?

AG: Homework is to write a sonnet next – ABABCDCDEFEFGG – Shakesperean-type sonnet, simple Shakespearean easy sonnet. We’ve all done quatrains, now pentametric, basically pentametric quatrains, of course double-rhyme – ABABCDCDEFEFGG. And also read through all the Shakespeare Sonnets that you’ve got there , and if you can, get hold of all of the Shakespeare Sonnets and read them through like a novel

Student: Would you repeat that rhyme form again slowly?

AG: AB AB –  CD CD –  … Read More

Breath Moves


AG: …However, it’s all shadow there, and so.. anyway, what we get from Samuel Daniel, page one-ninety –  Are there shadows that we see?/And can shadows pleasure give?/Pleasures only shadows be/Cast by bodies we conceive/And are made the things we deem/In those figures which they seem/ But these pleasures vanish fast /Which by shadows are expressed;/”Pleasures are not, if they last…” – What is beauty but a breath? – Pleasures are not if they last.

Pleasures aren’t pleasures if they last – they don’t exist unless they.. If they last, pleasures don’t exist, they’re on a breath – … Read More