Syllabic Poetry – 3 (Ginsberg)

“I learned a world from each/one whom I loved…”

AG: I used a lot.. I used a method..I used that in a lot of early poems that I was doing, imitating (William Carlos) Williams, just little free-verse poems, but I would rearrange them from prose, and arranged them into balanced little five-syllable, three-syllable, five-syllable, three-syllable, whatever – ” I learned a world from each/ one whom I loved/ so many/ worlds /without /a Zodiac” –  [from his poem “The Night Apple”] – six-four, six-four. I mean, I had written it down in prose on the paper, in a journal – “I learned a world from each one whom I loved, so many worlds without a Zodiac:” . And I couldn’t figure, what was the rhythmic continuity in that that the two pieces seemed the same, and, just in the course of trying to lay it out on the page and divide it up into logical pieces, I decided to divide it into six-four, six-four – “I learned a world from each/one whom I loved/ so many worlds without/ a Zodiac”. And there’s some funny logic to it that is pleasing to the ear, or pleasing to the eyeball on the page, or something.  So it’s a useful way, if you’ve written something out that’s poetic, and is condensed, but is in a sloppy form and you don’t know what to do with it, or in prose, or, like a little notebook thing, try re-arranging it to some pattern of syllables. So here he’s got ten, but other poems have much different .

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately thirty-seven-and-three-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately thirty-nine-and-a-quarter minutes in}

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