Ezra Pound’s Birthday

October 30, the anniversary of the birthday of the forever-controversial, impossible-to-dispense-with Ezra Pound. There’s a new book coming out (it appeared in the UK earlier this year), focusing on Pound’s long post-World War II incarceration at St Elizabeth’s  – Daniel Swift’s The Bughouse – The Poetry, Politics and Madness of Ezra Pound.

Typically, it has elicited some “mixed” reviews.  Robert McCrum in The Guardian found it “enthralling”  but “sometimes awkward”,  (noting Swift’s “idiosyncratic biographical analysis that marries lit crit and memoir”)  Mark Ford, in the same newspaper, was more damning -(“Pound’s arraignment for treason and spell in a psychiatric hospital … Read More

Allen Ginsberg – Ecologue & Interview with Allen DeLoach

Another from the trove of Stanford video recordings. This time Allen in Buffalo (Buffalo State, circa 1971), reading and being interviewed by Allen DeLoach – see here

The video is introduced as follows:

“Allen Ginsberg may be this planet’s most renowned poet . Considered by many of his contemporaries to be one of the most important poets of his generation. His poem “Howl” is probably as important a literary documentation of his generation’s spiritual condition as “The Waste Land” was for the previous generation. His major writing has been influenced by Biblical writing, by William Blake, Walt Whitman, Christopher Smart… Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 339

[Allen Ginsberg, photographed by  Kiyohide Hori]

Never did get around to mentioning Kiyohide Hori’s photo-show of Allen and of the Howl manuscript that took place (sadly now it’s down) in Japan this past summer

More Japanese news… “the Allen Ginsberg-inspired capsule”? – Some fervid debate in the “Comments” section here – “This is everything Allen Ginsberg stood against. These guys obviously know nothing about Allen Ginsberg or what he was all about. The poor guy must be turning in his grave” – (which elicits the response: “Please enlighten us. He was against materialism, which could be related … Read More

Ginsberg Reads Milton – 2

[William Blake – Satan Watching The Endearments of Adam and Eve (1808)]

Continuing from yesterday, 1980 audio recording of Allen Ginsberg reading from Book Nine of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost.”

AG: What I like is the sound of it. I’m imitating the sound of this in “Plutonian Ode”, that whole trick of name-dropping – Pluto and Demeter and..

where we are.. what line are we on? -“maugre” – meager – despite of – what is maugre? – “despite of” – yeah (Allen continues the reading here the poem)

“By night he fled, and at midnight returned/From compassing the … Read More

Ginsberg Reads Milton – 1

We have already featured Allen Ginsberg reading the opening of Paradise Lost. Here, continuing in his 1980 Naropa “Basic Poetics’ class, he recites (and passingly annotates) long sections of Book Nine of the poem

The audio begins here, approximately fifty-seven and-three-quarter minutes in

AG: So it  (Book Nine of Paradise Lost)  begins:

“No more of talk where God or Angel guest/With Man, as with his friend, familiar us’d, To sit indulgent, and with him partake/Rural repast; permitting him the while/Venial discourse unblam’d. I now must change/Those notes to tragic; foul distrust, and breach Disloyal on the part of … Read More

Allen Ginsberg and Tom Schwartz on John Milton – 7

[Charles Grignon after Francis Hayman, (1749) illustration to Book IX of John Milton’s Paradise Lost]

AG: So, the question is, what are we going to do with this big clunky Paradise Lost. I’d like to read a page and then turn it over to someone else to read some more. But, oratory, as oratory – “The Argument” – will somebody read “The Argument” here of Book 9. (The “Argument” here means, “this is the plot”..So,  page three-twenty-seven. The reason I’d like to begin.. to read the beginning pages at least is, he does take up, again, the subject of … Read More

Allen Ginsberg and Tom Schwartz on John Milton – 6

[Portrait of John Milton painted by William Blake for William Hayley’s library in his home near Felpham, England]

Allen and Tom Schwarz have just previously been discussing the influence of Latin syntax on the poetry of John Milton.

AG: So okay, what’s the point of all this. The point is that the Latin has a different order of words, that you could have, that the…verb comes at the end and that the arrangement of the nouns, the subject and the object might be in a different order. So dig now this opening line here – like “Of arms and Read More

Michael McClure – Interview continued

[Michael McClure photographed by Allen Ginsberg,  Hartford Street Zen Center, San Francisco, 1991 – Photo (c). Allen Ginsberg Estate]

Michael McClure. Continuing the transcription from yesterday

Interviewer: Can you talk a little about “Meat Science” ?

MM  No, that’s so long ago, David.  No. Do you mean the book of essays?

Interviewer: No, I mean the theory, the idea.

MM: Oh, I don’t know if there was a theory. “Meat Science” is a name that I gave to a book of essays, and it’s a.. it’s the way I’ll appreciate something – I’ll say something is an act of … Read More

Michael McClure – The Beard and Beast Language

[Michael McClure at the Kiev Restaurant, New York City. Photograph by Allen Ginsberg (c) The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]  

Michael McClure celebrated his 85th birthday yesterday. In his honor, here follows another transcript from the extraordinary series of readings/discussions that took place in Novato California, in the mid 70’s (see here , here,  here and here)  –  [We apologize to Michael for the typo] – The interviewer is David Rollison

Interviewer: A whole number of you went to see The Beard. How many of you did get to see it?….just to get a sense of… [tape cuts off  … Read More