July 19 (Mayakovsky’s Birthday)

[Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930)]

Today, July 19, the great poet, Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky, was born in Baghdati, Georgia. We’ve featured Mayakovsky numerous times here on the Allen Ginsberg Project. For example, here and here.

The fourteen-part series, Allen’s 1981 focus (with in-class presentation by Ann Charters)  begins here, and continues  here, here and here  (Expansive Poetry) .

Further posts  here (Akhmatova and Mayakovsky), here (Mayakovsky on Esenin), here (Mayakovsky and Mandelstam), here (“The Bedbug”), here (“At The Top of My Voice“), here (Mayakovsky and the Revolution), here (Mayakovsky and … Read More

Ginsberg-Taylor-Orlovsky-Pickard 1979 Warwick continued


[Allen Ginsberg and Steven Taylor, 1979]

Allen Ginsberg, Steven Taylor, Peter Orlovsky and Tom Pickard reading at Warwick University, November,  1979  continues from here

AG: Steven Taylor, please favor us with a song (Steven Taylor being a poet as well as being a musician)

ST: I’m going to sing a song that I wrote after first reading the poetry of Anna Akhmatova, the Russian woman poet who was banned by (Joseph) Stalins government in 1929 and was not published after that time. She identified with the wife of Lot in the Bible, who was turned … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 61 (The Stray Dog Cafe)

File:Stray dog logo 1912.jpg
[Stray Dog Cafe, St Petersburg  (1912 logo)]

AG: The Stray Dog Café – There’s a little tiny footnote on it in a Russian literary quarterly, which also has  translation of a poem by Anna Akhmatova of the (19)40’s,(19)50’s, and (19)60’s, which she compiled secretly, and was published outside of Russia, her major poem. “Poem Without A Hero”. – “The dog that she mentions is a vagabond dog, a bohemian St Petersburg cafe, decorated in part by Olga, Sergei Sudeikina‘s husband, habituated by most of the writers and the artists of the period, 1912-1915. Before the Revolution, it was named … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 50 (Mayakovsky on Esenin)

File:Esenin Moscow 1922.jpg    

[Sergei Esenin (1895-1925)]

AG (to Ann Charters): I did want to interject this (Sergei) Esenin thing, because in that there’s also [as with Akhmatova’s “Requiem] a reference to the bronze-lidded statue Ann Charters: Yeah AG: So they’re all.. This is Mayakovsky’s elegy on the suicide of Esenin,  Mayakovsky’s comment on Esenin’s suicide Ann Charters: This is 1925 AG: (19)25, probably. Esenin, as you remember, his last line, written in blood, is “In this life, to die is nothing new. But, of course to live is nothing new either” – “In this life, to die … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 49 (Akhmatova & Mayakovsky)

[Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966), in 1924, aged 35]

June 9 1981 – Allen Ginsberg’s Expansive Poetics class continues at Naropa Institute. On this day, Ann Charters, who, two years earlier, in collaboration with her husband Sam, had published I Love – The Story of Vladimir Mayakovsky and Lili Brik, is the class’s special guest. The emphasis therefore is on Mayakovsky and twentieth-century Russian literature.

AG: ….in the Russian section…  (Anna) Akhmatova  is after (Nikolay) Gumilev (1886-1921) [in the Expansive Poetics Anthology] , a poem called “Requiem”.  Okay? Everybody got it?
Student: That’s the very first poem in … Read More