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Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 388

[Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, 1979. Photo:  Andy Warhol  (c) The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc/ Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University]

Andy Warhol’s photo archive  (consisting of 3,600 contact sheets and 130,000 images -“the most complete collection of the artist’s black-and-white photography ever made available to the public”)  was recently digitized and put on line by Stanford (cf their likewise-remarkable digitalization of the Allen Ginsberg photo archives, with similar professional attention, earlier, last year).  The above snap is taken from the Warhol collection.

And here’s the copy of Mind Breaths that Allen set Andy.

Don’t Read More

more Blake – (Cradle Song, The Divine Image, Holy Thursday, Night)

Allen Ginsberg continues his review of Willam Blake’s “Songs of Innocence”

AG:  Then, (next),  the “Cradle Song”:

“Sweet dreams form a shade,/O’er my lovely infants head./Sweet dreams of pleasant streams,/By happy silent moony beams” -Would you turn the page please – “Sweet sleep with soft down,/ Weave thy brows an infant crown./Sweet sleep Angel mild,/Hover o’er my happy child./   Sweet smiles in the night,/Hover over my delight./Sweet smiles Mothers smiles/All the livelong night beguiles./  Sweet moans, dovelike sighs,/Chase not slumber from thy eyes./Sweet moans, sweeter smiles,/All the dovelike moans beguiles./  Sleep sleep happy child./All creation slept and smil’d.” – … Read More

more Blake – (“Laughing Song”)

Allen Ginsberg on William Blake’s Songs of Innocence continues

AG:   Meanwhile, “The Laughing Song” – (to Peter Orlovsky)  Do you have a text?

“When the green words laugh, with the voice of joy/And the dimpling stream runs laughing by,/When the air does laugh with our merry wit,And the green hill laughs with the noise of it./  When the meadows laugh with lively green/And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene,/When Mary and Susan and Emily,/With their sweet round mouths sing Ha, Ha, He./ When the painted birds laugh in the shade/ Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread/Come … Read More

more Blake – (“Little Boy Lost” & “Little Boy Found”)

[“The Little Boy Lost’}

AG:  Next,  “The Little Boy Lost”.  Now, “The Lost Child” – one interpretation of that –  of the “Little Boy Lost” and “The Little Boy Found”,  they’re companion pieces)  – (is as) somewhat (of) an attack on organized religion and the church and the theistic notion of God.  And when God does appear to find the child or to redeem the child or to take him back home, he appears like his father.  In other words, God appears in human form.  So it’s Blake’s complaint that the soul will be lost in the fen or wild … Read More

more Blake – (The Chimney Sweeper)

Allen Ginsberg’s 1979 Naropa Class on William Blake’s Songs of Innocence continues

AG: Then, (next),  “The Chimney Sweeper”:

“When my mother died I was very young,/And my father sold me while yet my tongue,/Could scarcely cry weep weep weep weep./So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep./ There’s little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head/That curl’d like a lambs back, was shav’d, so I said./ Hush Tom never mind it, for when your head’s bare,/You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair./ And so he was quiet, & that very night,/As Tom was a … Read More

Don’t Hide The Madness

Coming out next week ( on Tuesday) – and much anticipated – Don’t Hide The Madness – William S Burroughs in Conversation with Allen Ginsberg., from 1992, a documentary record of the meeting of two great minds.

As Burroughs and Ginsberg biographer, Barry Miles has written – “Steven Taylor’s transcriptions of Billl and Allen’s table talk are so accurate that it’s just like being there with them: Bill restless, changing the subject – Allen doggedly pursuing his point.”

As Steven Taylor eloquently notes in his taut and informative introduction:  “The original impetus of the conversation was to … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 387

[Allen Ginsberg – Poetry Center reading of “Howl”, San Francisco, November, 1955 –  © Walter Lehrman and the Walter Lehrman Beat Generation Photo Collection at the Merrill-Cazier Library at Utah State University, Logan, Utah]

A little anniversary slipped by last Sunday – October 7th – the legendary first (public) reading of “Howl” – “6 Poets at 6 Gallery” –

Ariel Kates remembers it  (in “Off The Grid” – the blog for the Greenwich Village Society For Historical Preservation). We’d also draw your attention to Simon Watts’ report (with testimony by Michael McClure) on the BBC’s World Service  (first … Read More

Blake (“The Little Black Boy” & “The Blossom”)

Allen Ginsberg performing William Blake’s “Songs of Innocence” (in 1979 in his class at  the Naropa Institute) continues

AG (to Peter Orlovsky):  So,“The Little Black Boy”.  Do you want to do that?

“My mother bore me in the southern wild,/And I am black, but O! my soul is white;/ White as an angel is the English child:/But I am black as if bereav’d of light./ My mother taught me underneath a tree/ And sitting down before the heat of day,/She took me on her lap and kissed me,/ And pointing to the east began to say./Look on … Read More

Blake (“Little Lamb, God bless thee”)

Allen Ginsberg on William Blake continues . Today Allen pays particular attention in his musical setting of William Blake’s “The Lamb”.  (“Little Lamb, God bless thee”)

[The Lamb]

Little Lamb who made thee/Dost thou know who made thee/Gave thee life & bid thee feed/ By the stream & o’er the mead;/Gave thee clothing of delight,/Softest clothing wooly bright;/Gave thee such a tender voice,/Making all the vales rejoice!/Little Lamb who made thee/Does thou know who made thee/   Little Lamb I’ll tell thee,/Little Lamb I’ll tell thee!/ He is called by thy name,/ For he calls himself a Lamb;/He is meek … Read More

Blake (The Shepherd & The Ecchoing Green)

Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky  continue with their performance of William Blake’s Songs of Innocence

[The Shepherd]

“How sweet is the Shepherds sweet lot,/From the morn to the evening he strays:/He shall follow his sheep all the day/And his tongue shall be filled with praise./  For he hears the lambs innocent call,/And he hears the ewes tender reply,/He is watchful while they are in peace,/For they know when their Shepherd is nigh.”

[The Ecchoing Green]

The Sun does arise,/And make happy the skies./The merry bells ring/To welcome the Spring./ The sky-lark and thrush,/The birds of the … Read More

Blake – Songs of Innocence (Introduction)

Continuing Allen Ginsberg’s lectures (from Naropa January 18, 1979) on William Blake

AG: So, next, I thought, chronologically, are the Songs of Innocence.  How many have read those by now?  Has anybody not read those yet?  It’s alright if you (haven’t).  Anybody not read them yet?  Raise your hand please.  Okay.  How many have read them for the first time this time around?  How many have read them through for the first time?  I know people have read in and out of them. Okay. So what I’ll do with those is sing them.  How many have heard my recordings Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 386

The annual Jack Kerouac festival in Lowell, his home town (Lowell Celebrates Kerouac) began yesterday and continues through Monday.  This year, LCK is observing the thirtieth anniversary of the dedication of the Jack Kerouac Commemorative and the sixtieth anniversary of the publication of The Dharma Bums. Among the highlights, David Amram (of course!) playing, jamming, improvising, tonight and Sunday, Ann Charters (tomorrow afternoon, giving the Parker Lecture), Brian Hassett and John Cassady (tomorrow night) presenting  Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady, and much much more. The full schedule can be seen – here

Don’t Hide The Madness, the … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 385

Next week in Vienna. The annual conference of the European Beat Studies Network, starting on Wednesday and concluding Saturday October 6th

The program includes – on Friday:  Franca Bellarsi –  “Allen Ginsberg’s Ecopoetics: Oscillating between Sentience-in-Interdependence and Physically-Determined Embodiment” – on Saturday (on the “Transnational Beat” segment) – Antonín Zita – “Dismantling Socialist Realism: The Beat Generation in Czechoslovakia”,  Josef Rauvolf – “In the Wake of Allen …”,  and Polina Mackay – “Beat Poetry and Greek Austerity: George Prevedourakis Reads Ginsberg”

For more detailed notes on the program – see here 

But, happening all over, before that – … Read More

More Blake – Tiriel – 4

[“Har blessing Tiriel, while Mnetha comforts Heva” – illustration by William Blake to his edition of “Tiriel” (1789)]

AG: Does that make sense? (my interpretation of “Tiriel”)?  I think you’d have to read it through.  I’ve just been reading it through and reading the footnotes and trying to figure it out.  But it wasn’t probably clear enough for him to engrave, because it was his first trip, his first prophetic trip and the first time he used this long line.  There are some drawings that do belong to this, and if you go in the library and check it … Read More

More Blake – Tiriel -3

[“Tiriel borne back to the Palace on the shoulders of his Brother Ijim, addressing. his five Daughters” – illustration for his edition of “Tiriel” (1789) by William Blake]

Allen Ginsberg on William Blake’s “Tiriel” continues

AG: So now the sons confront Tiriel.  Tiriel is brought by Ijim, so to speak, (like the rebellious masses, but the stupid masses), to his sons – “Heuxos & Lotho ran forth at the sound of Ijims voice/And saw their aged father borne upon his mighty shoulders/ Their eloquent tongues were dumb & sweat stood on their trembling limbs/ They knew twas vain to strive … Read More