“Bāuls, Bhakti, Beats, and Bob – The Influence of Oral Indian Tradition in the Poetry of Allen Ginsberg and Its Connection with Bob Dylan” – Geetanjali Joshi‘s article, first published in the Journal of Dharma Studies is now available on-line – here – (see also Suranjan Ganguly‘s “Allen Ginsberg in India – An Interview” – here)
Connor Goodwin: How was your transition from India to New York?
Francesco Clemente: America is also a mystical place. Whitman, Emerson, Allen Ginsberg. America has had a big influence on the spirituality of India. There are many reformist movements inspired by Transcendentalism philosophy.
CG: This is a selfish question, but when I was in high school I loved the Beats – Ginsberg, Kerouac -all those guys. I’m wondering how you got mixed up with that crowd and if you have any good stories you want to share?
FC: I made a friend here named Raymond Foye. He is a poetry editor and writer. He was friendly with all of them. Presently, he’s editing Gregory Corso’s unpublished poems. And then Raymond came to India with me to teach my daughters to read and write and then we saw these small prayer books and decided to publish the Hanuman books. And through that I got to meet my heroes. Ginsberg was really my hero. And so was Gregory. And then I met Robert Creeley… Ginsberg was really what you would call a compassionate man. Once I did his portrait and he said, You make me look so brave. And I said, You are brave. And he said, No, I’m a coward like everyone else. He wasn’t. He was a real lion of dharma.
Vojo Šindolić’s 1986 Belgrade interview with Allen that we featured on the Allen Ginsberg Project here and here was reprinted recently in Žurnal, “the first on-line magazine in Bosnia and Herzegovina’ (see our links for it here in English)