Early Ginsberg – 1 – “A Lover’s Garden”

[Neal Cassady, New York City, ca 1946, “in his first suit, bought in Chinatown” photobooth shot, courtesy Allen Ginsberg Collection]

AG: (Where’s (Andrew) Marvell’s “..Garden”?  We”ll take a look at it here [and also at Allen’s “A Lover’s Garden”] …Is this alright what I’m doing?..  I don’t that often teach my own poetry.. (but) this is the first time (that) I’ve got into this. “How vainly men themselves amaze/To win the palm, or oak, or bays” ? What is that? – one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight – so I had an eight-line stanza –  “amaze/bays”,  “see/tree”, “shade/upbraid”, … Read More

Andrew Marvell – The Garden – 2

Allen Ginsberg continuing – on Andrew Marvell’s “The Garden”

“How vainly men themselves amaze/To win the palm, the oak, or bays,/And their incessant labours see/Crown’d from some single herb or tree,Whose short and narrow verged shade/Does prudently their toils upbraid;/While all flow’rs and all trees do close/To weave the garlands of repose.”

AG: That is to say, all these people struggling in the city (it’s the beginning of the city again, and it’s..  he’s paralleling that poem that we read before by (Abraham) Cowley about “the crowd, and buzz, and murmurings,/Of this great hive the city.” – “Ah, yet, ere … Read More

Andrew Marvell – The Garden – 1

[Section of late 16th Century English embroidery, “The Garden of Eden”, currently in the collectionof the Metropolitan Museum in NewYork]

Allen Ginsberg on Andrew Marvell continuing from here 

AG: Okay, move on now to “The Garden”, on page three seven four. .And “The Garden” is considered by many people to be the greatest lyric poem in the English language, on account of it has great sound, it has great picture, it has great intellectual capacity and significance, it is transcendent intellectually in that it goes of into a sphere of mind-awareness that is beyond anything so far displayed in … Read More

Marvell – (The Mower To The Glow-Worms)

Allen Ginsberg on Andrew Marvell –  continues

AG: Well then there’s more here. I would like to do “The Definition of Love” but I want to move on to “The Mower To the Glow-Worms ,(it’s a little tiny lyric), because it’s so pretty. And the ear’s so pretty in this too – Page three seven three – It’s a good as ear as – remember? – “Come live with me and be my love..” “Melodious birds sing madrigals” – remember that? – remember that line – “Melodious birds sing madrigals”.. from what was it?…Marlowe.. yes.. “by whose falls..” … Read More

Marvell – (To His Coy Mistress)

Allen Ginsberg on Andrew Marvell continuing from here

AG: So his “The Dialogue Between Soul and Body” is fine and “The Nymph Complaining for the Death of Her Fawn” is long but fine.

Then you get to his “(To His) Coy Mistress.”  Is (there) anybody know that poem? [show of hands] And how many do not? How many do not know Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress”? Well how many do then? – one, two.. well most all do now.. Okay, then, shall we go through it? – I think yes… because this has, I think, (the) two … Read More

Andrew Marvell – (The Bermudas)

[“”Where the remote Bermudas ride..”]

AG: Now Marvell is really a marvel. Andrew Marvell is really a great lyricist, and in some of the poems that we’ll pick up on now he’s written perhaps some of the best  (some) of the best lines in the English language (including Shakespeare, or up with Shakespeare). There are a couple of crystal jewel perfect-resonating, good-sounding philosophically piercing statements. Also with a kind of spectral visionary visual quality. Also with an amazing ear. So, just to taste his ear to begin with, this little thing called “The Bermudas” which is purely an imaginary Walt Read More

Andrew Marvell (via John Aubery)

[Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)]

Allen Ginsberg, in 1980, on “Basic Poetics” continues from here

AG: Well, getting on now to more serious matters, Andy Marvell Andrew Marvell – a little history on him – from John Aubery, who was a contemporary, slightly later, who wrote Lives of the Poets  (sic) has a little page about Andrew Marvell –

“He was of middling stature….”    – “He was of a middling stature, pretty strong set, roundish faced, cherry-cheeked, hazel eye, brown hair. He was in his conversation very modest, and of very few words: and though he loved wine he would never … Read More

Abraham Cowley – (“The Wish”)

[Abraham Cowley (1618-1667)]
AG:  Now, next we get to (Abraham)  Cowley , below, (page) three-sixty,  And the reason Cowley gets interesting is , finally, for the first time, the horrific City. enters in (as it will get increasingly, prophetically, apparent entering into the poetry.. (William) Blake will, pretty soon, (be) talking about.the opening (of the) streets of London and the “satanic mills”, and it’ll go on to the twentieth-century with “Moloch whose cities are…”  ” filled up with plutonian factories drizzling in the toilet!”) –  So here in “The Wish”, the vision the horror in the city,
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Sir John Suckling – 1

[John Suckling (1609-1641)]

Allen’s 1980 Naropa class on Basic Poetics continues

AG: Let’s start in the anthology with Sir John Suckling  (page three forty-nine),  with the poem called “Song”, which my father used to stomp around the house and recite when he was  teaching it in high school all the time  because it’s a charming poem, and, apparently, it was very popular among the lyric poets of the 1920s as a model example of all-time great top-ten lyric out of English history. And it fitted in with the tuneful cynicism of the ‘twenties, like (the) Floradora Sextette and the Flappers, Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 37 (Reading List 8) – (Robert Duncan, Andrew Marvell)

AG:  (Regarding Robert Duncan) – “A Poem Beginning with A Line by Pindar” (in) and (indeed, the whole book) “The Opening of the Field” is quite beautiful. His comments on Walt Whitman in that are very tearful [“It is across great scars of wrong/ I reach towards the song of kindred men/ and strike again the naked string/ old Whitman sang from..”] There’s also a very beautiful passage about Whitman in Hart Crane’s “The Bridge” too [“Yes Walt,/ Afoot again, and onward without halt-/ Not soon, not suddenly -, no never to let go/ My hand/ in yours,/ Walt

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