[William Blake – Illustration for John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress – Plate 20 The Christian Fights Apollyon ‘ “It’s my favorite in all of Blake” (Allen Ginsberg)]
AG: (I brought) that three-volume set (of William Blake) here, so it’s up in the library in Reference, if you want to look at it. And, (I don’t think I told you), I brought my own home collection of Blake to Naropa, and I’ve put it in the library for your perusal, (so it’s maybe twenty or thirty books – big things and little books, lots and lots of pictures, lots and lots … Read More
[Allen Ginsberg in the War Resisters League office, May 1978 – photo: David McReynolds (c) David McReynolds]
Allen Ginsberg celebrations last night in Salerno, Italy – a collaboration between Casa della Poesia and La Locanda del Mare, presented by Sergio Iagulli, Raffaella Marzano and Giancarlo Cavallo, and drawing from the extensive audio and video archive of Casa della Poesia. (The event also featured a screening of the classic Beat film, Pull My Daisy, with Marzano’s appreciative and sensitive Kerouac translation)
AG: I have this chronology here, so I’d like to run over a few things in it. The beginning of this (is on page) four hundred. Little miscellaneous poems. In the miscellaneous poems of the Poetical Sketches, which are 1769 or so, there’s one “To Spring”,“To Summer”,“To Autumn”, “To Winter”, and they’re all really very Shakesperean-sounding, and very vivid They were written when he was fourteen, maybe – really early – and in autumn there’s a funny one – “Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat,/Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak/Hills fled … Read More
The initial tapes have a number of technical difficulties. As original transcriber Randy Roark explains:
“The tape machine malfunctions throughout this recording. A mechanical hum, sounding like a short in the microphone or recorder itself, interferes with the recording, which alternately comes in clearly. The tape is labelled “Intro to Blake — Vala” — but almost none of this remains.”
America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.
America two dollars and twentyseven cents January 17, 1956.
I can’t stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb.
I don’t feel good don’t bother me.
I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America … Read More
[“Capitol Air” – “I don’t like the government where I live..” – Allen Ginsberg, pictured here with Joe Strummer and Mick Jones of The Clash]
[Allen Ginsberg, 1985 Self Portrait – Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto (c) The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]
More strange tapes from the archives. Solitary splendors. Throw-away musings. We’ll be featuring plenty more substantial things in the months to come but thought to follow up last week’s mournful ditty with this – another fugitive thing, another fleeting but poignant “audio-selfie” – Allen, alone with the tape-recorder, practicing, sounding out and composing a … Read More