Basil Bunting Reads Campion – 2

Basil Bunting can be heard again on tape, reading from Campion.

WHEN thou must home to shades of underground, And there arrived, a new admirèd guest, The beauteous spirits do engirt thee round, White Iope, blithe Helen, and the rest, To hear the stories of thy finish’d love          From that smooth tongue whose music hell can move; Then wilt thou speak of banqueting delights, Of masques and revels which sweet youth did make, Of tourneys and great challenges of knights, And all these triumphs for thy beauty’s sake:          When thou hast told these… Read More

Basil Bunting continued – (Bunting reads Campion)

Basil Bunting (1900-1985)
Thomas Campion (1567-1620)

A fresh tape Basil Bunting  in media res reading Thomas Campion‘s “Hark, all you ladies that do sleep!”     

HARK, all you ladies that do sleep!   The fairy-queen Proserpina Bids you awake and pity them that weep   You may do in the dark     What the day doth forbid;            Fear not the dogs that bark,     Night will have all hid. But if you let your lovers moan,   The fairy-queen Proserpina Will send abroad her fairies every one,            That shall pinch black and blue     Your white hands and fair arms   That did not kindly… Read More

Campion’s Prosody

Allen Ginsberg’s January 1980 Naropa class on Basic Poetics continues with transcription of one-on-one conversation that appears to take place after the formal end of the class

AG: Pat (sic), did you ever read that – (Thomas)Campion‘s treatises on themusic and poetry? Student (Pat (sic)) : I’ve read theObservations in The Art of English Poesie AG: Is that the one that takes up quantitative.? Student (Pat): Yeah AG: Do you have a copy of Campion? Could you prepare a little summary of his ideas on quantity…You know what he says about that?

[Allen is temporarily distracted by … Read More

John Dowland/Basil Bunting

[John Dowland (1563-1626)]

Allen Ginsberg’s January 1980 Basic Poetics class continues (in preparation for future notes on John Dowland) AG; Apparently, I have.. the “Fine Knacks For Ladies“ that you gave me the recording? – I have some (John) Dowland around and I had that so I’ll try and bring in a… I was going to try and get Charlie (Ross – sic) to bring in a phonograph today. Were there any others on that beside the “Fine Knacks For Ladies” ?

Student: There’s Dowland’s setting of “Weep No More Sad Fountains” on that other one.… Read More

Dowland Performance (“Weep ye no more, sad fountains”)

Transcription of Allen’s “Basic Poetics” class, from 1980 at Naropa, continues. The previous tape (tape 9 of 35) is missing and this tape comes in (towards the end of a class) with an in-class performance]

AG: What page is the poem (“Weep You No More Sad Fountains” by John Dowland)

Student: Page 115

[Editorial note – The author of this poem is, in fact, unknown, but its first recorded use was as the lyric for one of Dowland’s published lute pieces]

[Student/Musician in class plays with guitar accompaniment his own setting of “Weep You No More…”]

Student/Musician: … Read More

Basil Bunting’s Lectures on Poetic Origins – 4

[Basil Bunting (1900-1985) – Photograph by Derek Smith]

Allen Ginsberg’s remarks on Basil Bunting’s lectures continues – see here, here and here

AG: So Louis Zukofsky, in modern times, was the most subtle person working with different measures and with a pure relation between musical forms and quantitative count and he was saying that the madrigal distorts words (because you’ve got several lines at once) and so words are not allowed to take whatever stress is appropriate to them in the madrigal. But in chanting, words are allowed to take whatever stress is appropriate to them. That’s … Read More

Basil Bunting’s Lectures on Poetic Origins – 3

[Basil Bunting (1900-1985)]

Allen Ginsberg’s remarks on Basil Bunting’s lectures continues

AG: So then, the next thing would be the comparing of the time of the steps, the time it takes for steps, or the ratio of times of the steps, to count the syllables. In.. an orderly measure in dance would be the steps, in music, it would be the notes, in poetry, the syllables. A pattern of spatial rhythms, ratio of repetitions, and so forth.

And then he [Basil Bunting] says – this is really interesting – this – “A poem is not quite alien … Read More

Basil Bunting’s Lectures on Poetic Origins – 2 (The One-Eyed Ford)

[Rusty 1941 One-Eyed Ford Coupe – Photograph by Jeffery Wells via flickr]

Student: Is the “one-eyed Ford” something you just made up now?

AG: No , the “one-eyed Ford” is a famous American-Indian twentieth-century.. It’s a great line! – It’s one of the great lines in America .. of the, as-yet, unacademicized poetry. The many many versions of the “one-eyed Ford” song (South-West – Oklahoma, actually – I heard it last year… last heard it (with Harry Smith) in Anadarko, Oklahoma) – “My one-eyed Ford”! – It’s a great line!

So… I don’t know. He [Basil BuntingRead More

Basil Bunting’s Lectures on Poetic Origins – 1

[Basil Bunting (1900-1985)]

AG: Some of the ideas that (Basil) Bunting was laying out, I would like to lay out here because they’re just very interesting. He was saying that, first of all, English poetry was sung up until the 17th century. All the poets wrote for singing including, of all people, John Donne! – Donne was sung. He was put to music by a fellow named Ferrabosco of that era (do you know anything about that?) – Well, apparently Donne was actually sung. Donne is usually taught nowadays as if he… you know.. he has one or two … Read More

Ginsberg Rare Video Footage Addenda

Following on from yesterday’s posting of Allen in Scotland in 1973, there’s a fourth and final video that we omitted, but include today just to give you the complete picture.  It consists of documentation of a press-conference (but with considerable intrusive ambient sound interference, not to mention amateur camera-work, making it almost impossible – indeed quite literally impossible – to transcribe – Listen hard and you can, perhaps, glean a few of the highlights.   Approximately sixteen minutes in, that conference concludes, and the focus shifts to Allen in a performance of the popular Hindu mantra, Om Namah Shivaya, accompanying … Read More