On Mexico City Blues (20th Chorus)

Allen  Ginsberg’s annotations of Jack Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues continue from here 

AG:  Now, next thing – a lot of this, because the style poetically is so original – he makes comments on poetry – 20th Chorus.

“The Art of Kindness  A Limping Sonnet..” – (So now he’s going to write a sonnet, in this style):

“How the art of kindness doth excite,/ The pressure and the intervening tear,/What horizons have they fled,/What old time’s blearest dream!/But atta pressure of the Two Team,/ Finding nothing to surfeit the bloated corpse,/Rabbed the Whole She bo be bang/ And rounded them a Team./ Beam! Bleam! So no one cared./  Except the High Financier./Ah, but wine was never Made/That sorely tongues gave grace & aid./   Because I cant write a sonnet/Does that make me Shakespeare?/ There’s a sonnet of the lotus/ A rubicund rose/Death in a rose/ Is prouder than satin/Esmerald Isles/Blest/In the Archipelagoan/ Shore – / Ferry’s arrived.’

The first is like a little … one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven.  One, two … how many lines did he do of that?  Thirteen.  Thirteen lines instead of fourteen.  Of course he could have done fourteen if he wanted to count.  He’s got another line here – “You can get it out of a book/If the right words are/important” (84th Chorus)

You can have a thirteen-line sonnet.  “The Art of Kindness  A Limping Sonnet” –  and actually it’s an imitation of Renaissance verse, and it has the sound of Renaissance verse with a lot of funny nonsense mixed in – “Rabbed the Whole She bo be bang.”
He read a lot of Shakespeare sonnets and so there’s a little sound of Shakespeare sonnet in here, as in a lot of Shakespeare sound imitated throughout the book.  “The Sonnets” and “Hamlet and “As You Like It.”

Then there’s “Because I cant write a sonnet/Does that make me Shakespeare?,” whatever that means.  What he liked about Shakespeare was that, according to Ben Jonson, Shakespeare never blotted a line, like Kerouac.  Shakespeare’s manuscripts, apparently, are unblotted, and Ben Jonson, his contemporary friend, said Shakespeare wrote spontaneously also.  So Kerouac thought he was the greatest writer since Shakespeare because of that, and wrote a huge volume of pretty ditty sounds like Shakespeare.  I don’t know anybody else that wrote as Shakespeare.

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately fifty-six minutes in  and concluding at approximately fifty-eight-and-a-half minutes in

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