[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
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”
– “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
[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
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