Bob Dylan’s Birthday

Bob Dylan’s birthday today – Bob Dylan is (believe it or not!) 77 – As always, world-wide, plenty of Bob Dylan celebrations. Tonight in New York it’s “Tomorrow Is A Long Time”, a special show at the Town Hall, produced by Hal Willner, paying tribute to his legendary 1963 breakout concert there, a headlining solo-performance in front of a thousand people.

“Tomorrow is a Long Time”, as the Town Hall announces, “reimagines Dylan’s masterful concert, with colorful interpretations by a diverse cast of musicians and artists” (backed by the eponymous Town Hall Ensemble. under the musical direction of … Read More

Poetry, Society, & Foolish Resentment

[Hokusai -The Fuji reflects in Lake Kawaguchi, seen from the Misaka pass in the Kai province]

Student: Can I go back and ask you a question? We were talking about entering the imagination and making it manifest..

AG: Yeah, well, the reason I read this (Christopher Smart’s “A Song to David”), incidentally, was, obviously , he had to sit down and work on it. And it must have been fun.

Student: For you, what’s left after this manifest  I mean, that’s not totally off-the-wall..

AG: What’s left?

Student: Yeah.  Inside.

AG: Inside? – Inside?  It’s only.. You plumb … Read More

Christopher Smart’s “A Song to David”

 

 

Well, a sample of such a poem is – (a long poem), something that takes a long time to write – by Christopher Smart, now.  There’s one poem that is not in our anthologies called “A Song to David”

Student: David?

AG: “A Song to David”, which you can find also in the anthology by W.H.Auden, Poets of the English Language (which we do have it in our library). And also there’s a great Smart anthology, a book of Smart’s,  in the library, if you want to look up Smart , there’s this one, this … Read More

Seymour Wyse

[Seymour Wyse, Horace Mann School, 1940 (courtesy of Dave Moore)]  

Returning to the extraordinary trove of tapes of Allen now in the archives at Stanford University, here’s a recently-discovered gem – Allen, in 1981, at Leicester University, in Englandin conversation with the figure who turned on the young  Jack Kerouac to a rich and life-long appreciation of jazz,  his old Horace Mann schoolmate – Seymour Wyse. 

Edie Parker Kerouac (remembering Seymour Wyse, in Boulder, the following year) : “Yeah and he used to scat, and he and Jack used to do this together. And the first time, … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 366

[Allen Ginsberg in Benares, India, 1963]

Allen Ginsberg in Asia – another early taste of David S Wills’  World Citizen – Allen Ginsberg as Traveller, (due out later this year – his fourth book, and another must-read from Beatdom‘s spirited editor).

Also from Beatdom this year (we mentioned these titles last week), The Buddhist Beat Poetics of Diane di Prima and Lenore Kandel  by Max Orsini, and, Straight Around Allen – On The Business of Being Allen Ginsberg by Bob Rosenthal.

Must-read, certainly, would also be Sudarsan Raghavan‘s piece (first appearing in The Washington PostRead More

Compositional Practice (Sustained Attention – 2)

Allen Ginsberg on compositional practice continues from here

Student: Ted (Berrigan) says you write poems when you’re on a retreat.

AG:  Sometimes. If I’m somewhere where I don’t have to do anything, then I tend to write. Like, I wrote a lot up in.. when I went up that week for the seminary I wrote a whole… about fourteen little poems. But that was because they had a poetry reading there, and so I wrote something to read. And I didn’t like the way.. their attitude there, so  I was trying to reflect on, straightforward, you know, fresh, perception, I’ll … Read More

Compositional Practice – (Sustained Attention – 1)

Allen Ginsberg, at Naropa, from 1980, continuing with his lecture on Basic Poetics

AG: So, working last night reminded me of something that I hadn’t tried formulating, or vocalizing, which is that to write a work of genius, of any density and thickness and length (except for the little ditties and brilliant pieces that you can write right off, spontaneously, little short poignant things like that “On Neal’s Ashes”, which are, little poignant poems, which everybody has written of their own), the situation arising where you actually get involved in a work and sit continuously at it for twelve, … Read More

Disillusion (1961’s Rhythmic Paradigm)

From Allen’s 1980 Basic Poetics lecture at Naropa

AG: “My ambition was to write a sort of Promethean twentieth-century poem, using all of the ancient meters that build up to some kind of  grand chorale.  And there’s a little sample of that in Journals Early Fifties, Early Sixties, a little thing called “Rhythmic Paradigm”, which goes on for half a page with a series of meters that are more complicated than the ones in “Kaddish” or “Howl” “

from “Rhythmic Paradigm  – National Anger” (1961)

Blasted be Congress and doom on the White House and cursed are the works of … Read More

Musical Archetypes and Natural Rhythmic Measures

[Ravi Shankar (ninety-one years old!) plays Raag’s Bhiairvi (Bhiairvi Raga)]

Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 class in  Basic Poetics continues from here 

AG: ..And I’m not sure, actually. I’m just posing the question, whether the continuous repetition of a fixed structure and memorization of it will then begin to collect emotions around it, and whether you’ll begin casting your own personal emotions into that slightly different emotional cadence, as in a Sapphic – or, is it possible that a stanza such as the Sapphic is so archetypal as far as breathing and emotional spurt, that anybody might breathe, or thin , … Read More

Sapphic Concision (“On Neal Cassady’s Ashes”)

Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 Naropa “Basic Poetics” class continues from here

AG: I took a poem that I had written, that was in an almost-Sapphic style, in 1968, “On Neal Cassady’s Ashes”, (which is a little classic, which is in some anthologies already. I don’t know if any of you are familiar with it) …Yeah…and I re-wrote it last night, also, so it would fit (the) Sapphic form. I had to take out about six words and it all fit, so it goes… And I found it..  I had done it unconsciously already, because the original first line was … Read More