Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 323

“Driving The Beat Road” Jeff Weiss recent detailed (and profusely illustrated ) survey, in The Washington Post, “in search of surviving members of the Beat Generation“,  is another  (well, we keep using this term, but it’s true) – “must-read”.

Weiss recounts the circumstances and the details of his interviews (conducted earlier this year) with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Diane di Prima, the novelist Herb Gold (“Gold would be the first to tell you that’s he’s not a Beat, but his legacy and historical context remain inextricable from his more well-branded peers”), and, in conclusion, … Read More

Allen Ginsberg, Salman Rushdie, & Meditation

Salman Rushdie, describing a moment, in 1989 in New York, in protective custody, following the issuing of the notorious fatwa  that followed on the publication of his novel, The Satanic Verses

“I spent that day in a fourteenth-floor suite with at least twenty armed men. The windows were blocked by bullet-proof mattresses. Outside the door were more armed men with Schwarzenegger-sized muscles and weaponry. In this suite I had a series of meetings which must remain secret, except perhaps for one. I was able to meet with the poet Allen Ginsberg for twenty minutes.The moment he arrived, he pulled cushions … Read More

July 4th

[Allen Ginsberg on Central Park Bandstand, 5th Avenue Peace Demonstration to Stop The War in Vietnam. 1966 -Photograph by Fred W McDarrah c. the Estate of Fred W McDarrah and Getty Images]

The iconic image by the great Fred W. McDarrah of Allen in his “Uncle Sam” hat greets us this July 4th. From the Sotheby’s catalog of Allen’s possessions: “Ginsberg did not save the original hat that he wore in the [McDarrah] photo but he received several hats as gifts after the famous photo debuted” like this one that he placed on the head of his teacher, Gelek RimpocheRead More

America, America

[Allen Ginsberg A Queda Da América (The Fall of  America; Poems of These States)   translations by Paulo Henriques Britto. L&PM Porto Alegre, 2014]

 

Allen Ginsberg’s classic poem “America” is one we tend to trot out around this time   (like every Thanksgiving, it’ll be William Burroughs’ “Thanksgiving Prayer”  and every Allen’s birthday, it’s dogwood flowers).                            So here it is again.

and here’s, of interest, (included in  Gordon Ball‘s edition of Allen Ginsberg’s Journals – Mid Fifties 1954-58 ), an early draft, or early poem, early working, with that title, written shortly after “Howl”.

The last … Read More

The 1973 Glasgow Review Interview

 [Allen Ginsberg at his 1973 Glasgow Press Conference]

We featured here last week, Allen’s interview in 1973 in Scottish International. Featured today is a companion piece from The Glasgow Review  (drawing from the same press conference).  The piece was initially titled “Of Burns and Watergate” (referring to the two main topics).

Interviewer; What do you think of the present state of the Watergate affair?

AG: Well what the underground both in America and England have been saying for a long time now has become accepted currency in the minds of the above-ground, middle-class media. The specific conceptions that are … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 322

The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience, as tuned by Allen Ginsberg on Omnivore Recordings  (first time on CD & digital, including rare and previously unreleased material).  As anticipated, the raves are coming in.

Here’s Thom Jurek on the allmusic web-site, singing the praises of what he refers to as a “treasure” of a document.

“It’s impossible to overestimate Ginsberg’s  influence on American culture; likewise, these recordings are nothing less than an integral, inseparable part of his oeuvre. It’s obvious that while Ginsberg took great delight in making these recordings, he also took them very seriously; his intent is … Read More

Some Elizabethan & Jacobean Recommendations

AG: Okay I would like to move.. I would recommend reading that through (Jonson on Shakespeare). I just don’t want to take up our time now. I’m going to go back to later to Edmund Bolton’s “Palinode” (on page 270) [sic],  but I want to pair it with another poem later, so please read that some time . We’ll get to John Webster‘s, a couple of little lyrics, because they’re really beautiful (that’s on page 272) , But I want to go straight to (Robert) Herrick, to.. in order to “strike the second heat/ Upon Read More

Ben Jonson on Shakespeare

AG: Well ,  I think people should go ahead and read the thing on Shakespeare      [Ben Jonson’s “To the Memory of My Beloved the Author, Mr William Shakespeare”] by yourselves,

I won’t go over it, except a couple of phrases in here – (page 260)  [sic] -It’s a real good poem. It’s an interesting poem, and it’s well-written, and it’s very.. it’s full of energy, at a certain point – “I therefore will begin. Soul of the age!/ The applause, delight, the wonder of our stage!” – (he really gets with it)

But.. later on, he has a … Read More

Jonson’s Lucius Cary & Henry Morison

[ Two Young Men – (ca. 1590) – by Crispin van den Broeck (1523-ca.1591) – oil on panel – 44.5 cm × 60 cm –  Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England]

AG: This (poem) [Ben Jonson’s “To The Immortal Memory and Friendship of That Noble Pair, Sir Lucius Cary and Sir Henry Morison“- is about two young fellows who are really good friends, maybe lovers (there’s some slight suggestion of “heart-love” between them), who died young. As the last line says, on page two-sixty-five, “Who ere the first down bloomèd on the chin/Had sowed these fruits, and got the harvest … Read More

The Structure of the Ode

Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 Basic Poetics class continues

AG: Strophe (is that pronounced strophee or strophe?)

Student: Strophee, I think

AG: Strophee – or Strophee/Antistrophee maybe – and  Epode. So the anti-strophe or antistrophe would be simply a mirror image of it, perhaps responding, responding to the first statement, and then the epode would be a variation on the form, (not necessarily the same but making use of the similar kinds of lines). And it’s good for certain kinds of formal poems, or occasional poems, or political poems. Like, I wrote Plutonian Ode (but I wasn’t paying attention to the … Read More