Elazar Larry Freifeld Tel Aviv 1988 Interview

[Allen Ginsberg in Jerusalem, 1988, praying by the Western Wall.  Photograph by Steven Taylor]

Allen Ginsberg in Israel.

This interview with Elazar Larry Freifeld was conducted at Tel Aviv University in 1988, and published in Moznaim (in Hebrew). It appeared a year later (In English) in The Tel Aviv Review, and most recently in the Jerusalism Review.

LF: Welcome to Israel, Allen. You come at a very troublesome time [civil war in Lebanon].

AG: Ah, it’s the same all over the world. Everyone has their own tsurus [“trouble”, in Yiddish]. In Nicaragua, the CIA is fomenting trouble, in Columbia … Read More

Charles Reznikoff (Te Deum)

[Charles Reznikoff. Photo: Abraham Ravett]


Not because of victories I sing, having none, but for the common sunshine, the breeze, the largess of the spring.

Not for victory but for the day’s work done as well as I was able, not for a seat upon the dais but at the common table.

(Charles Reznikoff ( 1894-1976)

Hear Reznikoff reading this poem – here.  Hear other readings by Reznikoff  – here

Charles Reznikoff‘s birthday today. Our last year’s (2016) posting is a must-visit.

 … Read More

Objectivism at Michigan Poetry Conference , 1973

Our feature today – the extraordinary gathering on Objectivist poetics that took place in 1973 in Allendale Michigan and Allen’s participation in it. We are indebted to the labors (both with video and transcription) of Steel Wagstaff. His introduction to the occasion (on the poetry-site, Dispatches)  may be read here. Below is some transcription of Allen’s contribution (his engagement with Charles Reznikoff, Carl Rakosi, and George Oppen). For a complete transcript (provided by Wagstaff) – see here

[Seidman House, Grand Valley State College, Allendale, Michigan, 1973]

Charles Reznikoff: Oh I say., May I suggest, isn’t … Read More

Charles Reznikoffs Birthday

It’s Charles Reznikoff‘s birthday.

For more Charles Reznikoff postings on the Allen Ginsberg Project – see here and here

and here, here, here, here, here, here, here, herehere , here, here,  here and here   (a thirteen-part series of Naropa lectures from 1978 that we recently featured on the great master)

and should you want more Ginsberg-on-Reznikoff:

herehere, here

Shall we go on?  ….

Suffice, it is to say, that for Allen, Reznikoff was one of the essentials.

 … Read More

Charles Reznikoff’s Birthday

(1894-1976) – Photograph by Abraham Ravett, 1975]

It’s Charles Reznikoff ‘s birthday today. We’ve featured him here before, with great pleasure, quite extensively.

Previous “Rezzy” postings on the Ginsberg Project:  herehere, here, here and here here andhere.

Today, the recording of a memorial gathering held for him at St Mark’s Poetry Project, March 20, 1976.

Audio notes from the Internet Archive, via Other Minds:

“A veritable who’s who of American poets, many hailing from New York, read their favorite poems by Charles Reznikoff and others, during a memorial for the … 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

Spontaneous Poetics – 54 (Edward Carpenter 1)

[Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) c. 1875]

AG: (Now) we’re on Edward Carpenter – where was I? – Edward Carpenter in relation to (Charles) Reznikoff again. (Let me read you) a Reznikoff poem by Edward Carpenter: “A Scene in London”

[from Towards Democracy (1912)]

– “Both of them deaf, and close on 80 years old, she, stone blind and he nearly so, side by side crouching over a fire in a little London hovel, six shillings a week. Their joints knotted with rheumatism. Their faces all day long mute like statues of all; passing expression. No cloud flying by, no gleam of … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 53 (Revisiting Reznikoff – 3)

[Charles Reznikoff (1894-1976) – photograph courtesy New Directions]

AG: I do want to get back to (Charles) Reznikoff  because, okay, we had a little haiku, and then we had a little sharp fast transcription noticings. Fast transcription. (Guy) de Maupassant. I think de Maupassant got this turn-on from (Gustav) Flaubert. Flaubert told him that if a guy was jumping out the window, he should be able to write a verbal sketch of the way that he fell out of the window (and) the way his shirt was ballooning into the air before he hit the … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 51 (Revisiting Reznikoff – 2)

[Charles Reznikoff, circa 1975, reading as part of the New York City “Poetry In the Parks” Program, courtesy the Archives of The Academy of American Poets]

AG: [surveying The Complete Poems of Charles Reznikoff] –  I’d like to read through a lot of these actually, because they’re so good. There are too many to read, because I (also) want to go from him to (William Carlos) Williams, and then from Williams, retrospectively, back to (William) Wordsworth, and see Wordsworth’s sharp focus of perception, if we have time.

“The shoemaker sat in the cellar’s dusk beside his … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 50 (Revisiting Reznikoff – 1)

[Charles Reznikoff  (1894-1976)]

  We continue with our transcription of Allen’s June 23 1976 Naropa class. He moves on from haiku (see here) to a discussion of one of his favorite ‘”close attention” poets, the Objectivist, Charles Reznikoff. We’ve featured Allen on Reznikoff extensively before (here, here, here and here), but (duplication notwithstanding) feel absolutely no compunction in featuring him again. 

AG: Well, that concentration of perception in Japan, or in that kind of meditative Oriental style, we have an equivalent of that in English, and so, fast, skipping through, a couple (sic) of Americans … Read More