Expansive Poetics 102 – (Robert Desnos)

Robert Desnos

[Robert Desnos (1900-1945)]

AG: We also have, moving on fast to Robert Desnos, who died in a concentration camp during World War II – 1900 you’ll find him.. [Allen is referring here to his listing in the classroom anthology] – “The Voice of Robert Desnos” – “So much like the flower and the current of air/like the waterway like the shadows passing everywhere/like the smile glimpsed this amazing evening at midnight/so much like everything happiness and sadness/it’s yesterday’s midnight lifting its naked torso above/belfries and poplars./ I’m calling those lost in the countryside/the old corpses the young oaks … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 94 (Blaise Cendrars)

[Blaise Cendrars (1887-1961)]

[cover of 1913 edition of   “La prose du Transsibérien et de la Petite Jehanne de France” by Blaise Cendrars, with illustration by Sonia Delaunay]

Andrew Mayer [a student in the class] translated a couple little short poems from various different people – (Blaise) Cendrars, (Philippe) Souplault, and others, and they have the same swiftness (as Apollinaire) – non-punctuated swiftness – “At the 5 Corners” – (“Aux 5 Coins“) –  “I dare to make noise/color movement explosion light is everywhere/Life blossoms in sunlit windows/which melt in my mouth/I am ripe/I fall translucent … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 41 – Edward Carpenter – 3 (From Turin to Paris)

[Allen Ginsberg, aged 24, c.1950 – Walt Whitman, aged 35, c.1854]

 [An early draft of Song of Myself]

AG: Actually, I have a poem called “Sather Gate Illumination” and it’s simply an imitation of this method of notation [Carpenter’s, in “From Turin to Paris”], if any of you know of that poem. I don’t know if I had read this [“From Turin to Paris”] by then. In fact, I don’t think I had. I had read  (Walt) Whitman, I think, just before writing “Sather Gate Illumination”, and was turned on by Whitman’s static descriptions – that is, descriptions … Read More

Ron Padgett’s Collected Poems

It’s a red-letter day!  (or, to be accurate, a red-and-black letters day, on a plain cream-white background!). Coffee House Press have just published, in one 800-plus single volume, The Collected Poems of Ron Padgett.Ron Padgett‘s poems”, writes Anne Waldman, “are essential and Ron Padgett is a genius”. She goes on,”His poetry is masterful for its panoramic humanity and mind-stopping verbal wit, its breathtaking power and beauty. We want to stay with the person in these poems all day long, to be changed by the possibilities palpitating from the smallest increments of our existence to the most … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 55 (Edward Carpenter 2)

[Edward Carpenter (1824-1929)]

AG: A poem (by Edward Carpenter) that I’ve always liked is “From Turin to Paris”

 He’s riding in the train from Italy to Paris and it’s a long detailed description of the entire train trip. I got turned on to that kind of travel-detail poetry by a book that Kenneth Patchen lent me called “Voyage Trans-Siberian”

  by Blaise Cendrars (which was translated by John Dos Passos in the (19)20’s, actually  – an odd combination). It’s a travel diary poem, a poem … Read More