AG: And then we have George Herbert (that we got to.. ) [Allen begins searching in. the anthology] – (now) where does he begin? – he begins after (Henry) King... ) – “Easter Wings” – and, the Easter Wings, I guess you know (or do you?) that Dylan Thomas wrote things like that? – your friend, Dylan Thomas? – He wrote diamonds [diamond-shaped poems]. He has.. Dylan Thomas has a series of poems that look like that – ever seen them? – and then, (like “Easter Wings”) – he was actually imitating Herbert – he also had … Read More
AG : I had xeroxed a couple of other lines of his, of Henry King, but.. there’s one that’s pretty...“The Dirge”, in the fourth stanza, talking about life. Well, it’s another thing like that – “What is the existence of man’s life?” – Is it “war”?, is it “a storm”? is it “a flower”? is it “a dream”? is it “a dial” (a sun dial)? – It’s another of those logical comparisons. That’s why they call it metaphysical-type poetry, because they make a logical comparison (and) shake it up. – “It is a dream whose seeming … Read More
William Carlos Williams birthday today. We celebrate with his reading on January 27, 1954 in New York at the 92nd Street Y.
We begin with the poem that leads off the 1956 Collected Later Poems – “A Sort of Song” – “Let the snake wait under/his weed/and the writing/be of words, slow and quick, sharp/to strike, quiet to wait,/sleepless./– through metaphor to reconcile/the people and the stones/.Compose. (No ideas/ but in things) Invent!/Saxifrage is my flower that splits/the rocks.” – followed by “Burning the Christmas Greens” ( “Their time past, pulled down/cracked and flung in the … Read More
This weekend we present the first of what we hope will be many many more posts – a look into the extraordinary collection (now digitalized and made available on line) via the Stanford University archives. Though there’s a breath-taking two-thousand plus audios, we’re starting with some of the video materials, and thought to start with this one – a 1993 recording of Allen reading his poem “After Lalon”, (followed by a discourse by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, in the company of Allen and Gelek Rimpoche)
[Lalon-Sha (c.1772-1890) – the only portrait sketched during his lifetime – Indian National Museum] … Read More
Next week in Paris (September 20-22) sees the sixth Annual Conference of the European Beat Studies Network – “The Transcultural Beat Generation” is this year’s focus “(Collaboration. Publication, Translation)”. The three days are broken down as follows: Wednesday, the 20th – “French Edition(s) and Beat Intellectual Life in Paris” – Thursday, the 21st – “Beat Translation and Collaboration” – Friday the 22nd – “Marginalized Beat Artists”.
Of the specifically Ginsbergian – Thursday-evening (6-7.30) has been given over to a panel on Allen, chaired by Anna Aublet) – (rather unfortunately, it clashes with a panel on William Burroughs (chaired by … Read More
As withereth the primrose by the river,
As fadeth summer’s sun from gliding fountains,
As vanisheth the light-blown bubble ever,
As melteth snow upon the mossy mountains:
So melts, so vanishes, so fades, so withers
The rose, the shine, the bubble and the snow
Of praise, pomp, glory, joy – which short life gathers –
Fair praise, vain pomp, sweet glory, brittle joy.
The withered primrose by the mourning river,
The faded summer’s sun from weeping fountains,
The … Read More
AG: So there’s another poem that I handed out – Sic Vita by Henry King (which I think is the most poem.. most perfect of that (transience poetry), but it also has a very great rhythm, very great cadence, that comes out of the logic of the presentation of the idea.
“Like to the falling of a star,/ Or as the flights of eagles are,/ Or like the fresh spring’s gaudy hue,/ Or silver drops of morning dew,/ Or like a wind that chafes the flood,.” – ( you know, “chafes the flood”? – ruffles the surface of … Read More
AG: We’re way off the subject. ..which was.. there was a really great poem I wanted to lay out, which I put out, by Henry King, (which is like the “Palinode“.) – We’ll get back to this (the “Palinode”) – I mean, has anybody got some heavy thing that they want to continue it on?
Edmund Bolton’s “Palinode” (on page two-seventy), which sets forth a great theme that recurs through all English poetry and also a great logical way of handling the theme – and I would like it because it’s … Read More
Chinese scholar and poet Zhang Ziqing was in correspondence with Allen in 1990 regarding his knowledge and experience of Chinese poetry. He sent on a questionnaire. Allen wrote back that he would be happy to answer it but needed to know “whether the questions refer to classical, XXth century, or Contemporary, Chinese literature & Poetry” “And also, is Tibetan poetry & Buddhist.. literature to be counted in as Chinese?”
There followed a letter to the Professor in which Allen details a number of influences and significant texts (both Chinese and Tibetan) . Allen’s handwriting (always unique, and … Read More