John Donne (continued – 5)

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Allen Ginsberg on John Donne continues

AG: Then… there’s some notes..(some) thing in (John) Donne. Like, when it begins, it begins like a kind of lightning stroke, Like, he cuts right through, immediately, to some great insults, or basic statement that is much more realistic than any of the love poetry that went before, from “I Sing of A Mayden”, on, because he’s the first person that’s being disillusioned, ironic, intelligent, intemperate, feisty, nasty, wanting to fuck and not talk anymore, wanting to get it on and not delay, not be hung up. Obviously, … Read More

Sunday March 5 Chogyam Trungpa Anniversary

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[Allen Ginsberg and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche – Photograph © Naropa Archives]

March 5th – today -Allen’s teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche‘s birthday, the 78th anniversary of his birthday. Next month (April 4th)  we will be marking the 30th anniversary of his death.

Rinpoche – Remembering Trungpa Rinpoche

see this extended piece by Barry Boyce from the archives in Lion’s Roar

Trungpa’s legacy can be more fully explored here – and here (Chronicles of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche) and also  here (Shambhala)

& see also previous postings on The Allen Ginsberg Project  (for example)  here, here and here

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[“The Vidyadhara Chogyam … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 305

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Hot news from Real Gone Music – reissues of two essential Beat albums (limited editions in vinyl) – Allen’s classic 1966 recording of Kaddish and the Jack Kerouac-Steve Allens recording Poetry For The Beat Generation, (Jack’s debut as a recording artist).

Both are officially due out April 7, but pre-ordering will be available and details will be announced soon.

For further information on both these records – see this comprehensive article –  here 

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& Just out from the Cambridge University Press, and available in paperback – The Cambridge Companion to The Beats – edited by Steve BellettoRead More

John Donne – Go and Catch A Falling Star – 4 (conclusion)

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[ “till age snow white hairs on thee…” ]

Student: (I was wondering, in John Donne‘s time, how they used the word “art”, A-R-T- how did they use that)?

AG: Well now, I don’t think they used it the way we do, then. In Shakespeare, you see, “If thou.. If thou be who thou think thou art..”  They probably used “art” in those days anyway.

Student: ( or “are” – (“Tell me where all past years are“))

AG: Okay. okay. They seem to be… “If thou be’st the man I think thou are” – (apparently, “art” (are) comes at … Read More

Wednesday March 1 – Lucien Carr

 

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[Jack Kerouac & Lucien Carr, Columbia University Campus, 1944]

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[Lucien Carr and Allen Ginsberg at Lucien’s wedding to Francesca “Cessa” von Hertz, January 4, 1952. Photographer unknown]

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[Dane De Haan as Lucien Carr from the 2013 film Kill Your Darlings]

March the first. Today is Lucien Carr’s birthday

Central but enigmatic figure at the birth of the Beat Generation,  for “that story” we’ll send you to this New York Times piece. (altho’  we have reservations about the author’s  Kerouac hatchet-job – here)

For  earlier postings on Lucien on The Allen Ginsberg Project – see here and also … Read More

John Donne – 3 – Go and Catch A Falling Star (Pondering the Mandrake Root)

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[Mandrake illustration from a 15thc. manuscript Tacuinum Sanitatis]

Continuing with Allen Ginsberg’s analysis of John Donne’s poem, Go and Catch A Falling Star

AG: ..Yes. She still wouldn’t remain true. In other words,  You got to “go catch a falling star”, “get with child a mandrake root”. Anybody know what that reference is?

Student:  (There was a note on it in the book)

AG: Well, yeah, but it didn’t give you the full thing. It’s the.. On the gallows tree, when.. as (William) Burroughs pointed out, when people’s necks are snapped when they’re hung (and also beheaded, I … Read More

John Donne – Go and Catch A Falling Star – 2

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Allen Ginsberg on John Donne 1980 Naropa class – Continuing from here

Go and catch a falling star, Get with child a mandrake root, Tell me where all past years are, Or who cleft the devil’s foot, Teach me to hear mermaids singing, Or to keep off envy’s stinging, And find What wind Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be’st born to strange sights, Things invisible to see, Ride ten thousand days and nights, Till age snow white hairs on thee, Thou, when thou return’st, wilt tell me, All strange wonders that befell thee, And swear, No where … Read More

William Burroughs – Creative Reading continues – 7

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[William Burroughs. Photograph by Allen Ginsberg ]

William Burroughs on Creative Reading continues

WSB: Any further questions?

Student: What do you think of all these codes in Lord Jim. You know, he’s writing about all these kind of unexplained code and then, at the end, he’s… he’s killed, kind of, by the native’s code, and Brierly’s suicide that’s a kind of code. I’ve been kind of wondering what Conrad was thinking when he put all these open-ended codes of conduct into the book?

WSB: Yeah, well, so he says, faith in a fixed code of conduct. Now, this … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 304

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[Allen Ginsberg “signing a book at Harry Smith‘s funeral with his montblanc pen”, 1991 – Photograph © Thomas Peters]

Michael Schumachers collection of miscellaneous Ginsberg interviews, First Thought, as we mentioned last week, will be published very soon. Meantime, it’s worth considering Schumacher’s other titles, his masterly distillation of The Essential Ginsberg (out from Harpers in 2015), his remarkable edit of the Ginsberg father-son letters, Family Business, (2001)  and his monumental biography, Dharma Lion (1994,recently re-issued by University of Minnesota Press in an expanded edition, 2016)

A recent review of the latter  the new edition … Read More

Remembering Ray Bremser

Allen Ginsberg on the above image:

Ray Bremser master poet returned to New York after eight years’ absence wrinkle-faced as before, to attend my “Rainbow Body Reading Series” at Brooklyn College & same night read at St. Mark’s Church Poetry Project. Next evening we did two poetry readings shows together for jazz-club Village Vanguard anniversary week celebrations. He left early next morning by bus, for safety from drink, to his upstate New York Utica apartment. Saw him this way the night before all these poetry scenes, at my house, February 21, 1995″

This poem (“Blood”) was recorded in … Read More