Time and Sound – 15 (Naropa Classroom Discussion – 4)

John Lennon and Bob Dylan – poets’ limousine-ride, May 1966 – from D.A.Pennebaker’s Eat This Document (1972)

Student(1): One problem with poetry is that there is no-one there, nobody reads it, so that’s one of the things you’re up against.
AG: Yep..
Student (2) – It’s no good either!
Student (3) Allen does read it!
AG: ..although there is a little money in it, but not for many people…..    There is some money in it for, say, John Lennon , or his songs.. or Dylan
Student (1): That’s not poetry like we’re doing here – it’s music.
AG: Same thing. It’s still there. It’s still poetics (it’s the same basic form). All I’m saying is, that also is within the range. One of the things Louis Zukofsky says, (of poetry) – the lower limit is conversation, the upper limit is song.  So that is to be included.  I would include them as poets. So they do reach out and they do make money. And the song….

Student(1): Yeah, but their popularity is from the lyrics. I think it’s entirely different from what a lot of us are hearing..
AG: Well I’d include. studies of African-American poetics  too. – I’d include study of them also . [Allen turns his attention to lawyer, Ira Lowe, who is sitting in} –  I think you should sing more, Ira – the singing lawyer!  Ira, you should.. you should sing, definitely, (among other things, as a poet). Poets have always sang (I can sing a little)…

Ira Lowe (1924-2012)

Student (2): Well he wasn’t (a singer) before. He makes money as a lawyer.
AG: No, he used to sing – also – I was speaking to you, not.. I mean,  the class.. and you out there. [to Student} –  You ever sing?
Student (3): No
AG: Well, all of you… actually I think it’s a great idea.  (And it seems to me that’s something you should do more)  (if you want to hear your voice).. You should sing..  in the bathroom.  Do you sing in the bathroom?
Student (4): Yeah.
AG: That’s primary, that’s primary.  That’s the highest singing, that’s the highest singing, you know.  And all serious musicians do that. And I think great artists do that. You know,  the freedom to stand and vocalize, nobody’s judging, having a good time..

Student (5):  Yeah, Allen, I  just want to say, that I think it (making art) is for a sense of unity, maybe? – not.. not that I want to put it on anybody else, but that I want to offer a sense of unity for anyone who wants to accept it.
AG:  You got a sense of unity to offer?
Student (5): I must.. We’re all people. And I’m a person.
AG: That ain’t enough(I don’t even know if I’m a grown person,  (I think) I’m just this fantasy (with a torch and glasses)
Student (5): I don’t believe you!
AG: Well I do!  I don’t believe in humans as human anymore. I don’t think that’s enough. . ..     (That’s just secondary, human, (you) got to have something more –  or less!

Student (6): Well, we’re microphones – that’s what an artist is,  just a microphone.
AG: Of what? Who’s saying? –  or who’s talking?
Student (6): There’s just so much around us, tho’… I mean, everywhere you look, and if you don’t…

to be continued

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately eighty-five-and-a-half minutes in and concluding at approximately eighty-eight-and-three-quarter minutes in

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *