[Jack Kerouac reading at The Village Vanguard, December 1957. Photo via Dave Moore on Paul Maher Jr’s Jack Kerouac-Writer ]
Another Ginsberg letter today – this one to Allen (dated November 30, 1957 – sixty years ago today) from Jack Kerouac in Orlando, Florida to Allen in Paris. Jack confesses he’s drunk, and broke, but writing up a storm (writing Dharma Bums) and looking toward the future.
Dear Allen. Your poem [“Kaddish’] very beautiful, especially “eyes of Ma Rainey dying in an ambulance” (why don’t you spell it “aumbulance” which would mean aum-vehicle…)…well, and Greg’s [Gregory Corso’s] “sweetly in … Read More
A passionate letter today from 1965 (at the height of the Vietnam War), Allen, in San Francisco, on this day (November 29), writing to his father. The naivety, indeed myopia, on his father’s side exasperated Allen (the simplicity of the goad that he was a “Communist” that the “Commies infiltrated and used guerilla tactics to ravage and despoil and murder countless peaceful S(outh) Vietnamese”, that somehow an evil manipulating Communist China was the true force behind things and that America, far from being an aggressor, was somehow welcomed there as “protector”. “I’m not playing that game”, Allen declares .… Read More
Continuing with our spotlight on the videotapes in the Stanford University Archives (we’re coming to the end of it). Today’s feature (like last week’s) is nuggets extracted from a broader swath. In 1987, Sander Zulauf made a selection (on two tapes) of readings that took place between 1976 and 1985 at CCM, the County College of Morris in Randolph, New Jersey – The First American Poetry Disc – An Introduction to Poetry, which featured over a dozen American poets, (most, if not all, of a decidedly academic bent – The undeniably stand-out reader/anomaly here was Allen (who, accompanied by … Read More
Student: Would it do any good to know what these rhythms are if you don’t have the capability of voicing thatfeeling or that emotion that ends up being one of these.,
AG: Well, I think that these cadences and these emotions are natural, so I don’t think that anybody has the problem of feeling them, and, in private, voicing them, (either to themselves, or to another person). I think everybody.. I think they’re in the range of everybody’s emotional spectrum. You may not feel so about itbut you’ve got that delicacy, Sure. Don’t you? – … Read More
Student: Can I ask you a little bit of an off-the-wall question?
AG: Yes.. Why don’t we leave this time open now for just general…
Student: In our (Ted) Berrigan class tonight, he said this comment that, “The time of the composition is the time of the composition”…. (I’ve been trying to understand that) and I’ve been trying all night. And he says “Well, you should know that with every poem that you read, (before you start out).
AG: The time of the composition is the time of the … Read More
[“Oh!” ( the mouth open-wide, a “wonder-breath” – “Ah! – “Go!” – (Allen Ginsberg & Peter Orlovsky re Ezra Pound & Edmund Waller) – 1979 – Photograph by Desdemone Bardin]
AG: Well, if you.. I ‘d like to read that whole thing [Ezra Pound’s “Envoi“] once in.. just through, to get the variance from one stanza to another, because it seems that it’s surging, a very delicate surge from stanza to stanza that really concludes in a nice way – and it’s great music. In fact, why don’t we do it together? this one.. … why don’t … Read More
AG: Then (Ezra) Pound (on page one thousand and six). He thinks it [Waller’s “Song”} ‘s so good that it’s his high-water mark, so he wants a... And, in Pound, it’s amazing, it’s one of the few cases in the history of English poetry where somebody made an imitation that’s really just as good as the original, because Pound’s “Envoi” of 1919 is actually as beautiful, I think, as the Waller [“Go, lovely rose“] –
So “Go dumb-born book’ – but was.. it.. you know.. Pound’s specialty was this long.. was quantitative meter,