Poetry, Society, & Foolish Resentment

[Hokusai -The Fuji reflects in Lake Kawaguchi, seen from the Misaka pass in the Kai province]

Student: Can I go back and ask you a question? We were talking about entering the imagination and making it manifest..

AG: Yeah, well, the reason I read this (Christopher Smart’s “A Song to David”), incidentally, was, obviously , he had to sit down and work on it. And it must have been fun.

Student: For you, what’s left after this manifest  I mean, that’s not totally off-the-wall..

AG: What’s left?

Student: Yeah.  Inside.

AG: Inside? – Inside?  It’s only.. You plumb … Read More

Chögyam Trungpa Parinirvana

[Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939-1987)]

April 4 – Thirty-one years on since the death of Allen’s great spiritual teacher and the founder of Naropa Institute (now Naropa University), Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Naropa just recently announced the establishment of the Chögyam Trungpa Institute, a new academic research center, to encourage ““critical assessment by scholars and practitioners of Chögyam Trungpa’s body of teachings and his place in the development of Buddhism in the West,”  It will seek to “support new directions that honor the spirit of his work, through expositions, classes, research, debate, and other means”,  (including, most significantly, … Read More

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

Shunryu Suzuki (1904-1971)

Remembering today one of the great Buddhist teachers, Suzuki Roshi,  Shunryu Suzuki, influential Soto Zen priest and founder of the San Francisco Zen Center and the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center (the first Soto Zen training monastery in the United States and one of the very first Buddhist training monasteries to be established outside of Asia)

Suzuki was also the author of the hugely popular Zen Mind, Beginners Mind  (1970). a key book from a key figure in the spreading in the West of the dharma.

Here’s Allen – from an interview, circa.1996, with David Chadwick: 

DC: Can you remember the … Read More

More Haiku Thinking

“Old pond/Frog jumps/kerplunk!”

continuing from AG’s 1980 Naropa class – see here

AG  It’s [Trungpa Rinopoche’s tri-partite philosophy of the haiku] real interesting.  It got me onto noticing what was wrong with a lot of my haiku(s), and so I found that most of my haiku(s) just had, you know, a flash, and then some location or picture. or comment, or flash and recognition, but no zappy comment, that zapped the whole thing out, that made it, So, in other words, haiku, three short parts. Does that make sense?

Student: Yeah, It’s interesting to think of a … 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

Buddhism and The Beats (Ginsberg 1993 – 2 – Trungpa Rinpoche)

Continuing from yesterday.

[Buddha doodle. Allen Ginsberg. April 5, 1991]

[Mantra: Benefit for Kama Dzong Meditation Center, May 6, 1972. Macky Auditorium, Boulder, CO]

[Allen Ginsberg and Chögyam  Trungpa,  Rinpoche. Benefit for Kama Dzong Meditation Center, May 6, 1972. Macky Auditorium, Boulder, CO. Photo:  Bob Morehouse]

AG : Then, 1972 Trungpa Rinpoche invited me to Boulder to give a poetry reading to raise money for Rocky Mountain Dharma Center along with Robert Bly and Gary Snyder. So I was really pleased to go out and see him in his home territory and went out there and he invited … Read More

Buddhism and The Beats (Ginsberg 1993 – I – Introduction)

A real treat this weekend – with gratitude to Robyn Brentano and students from the NYU Ethnographic Film Program – “Buddhism and the Beats.”. “In 1993, Allen Ginsberg spoke to a gathering of students of the Tibetan Buddhist monk, Lobsang Samten, about the impact of Buddhist thought and practice on himself, the Beat writers, and American culture at large”. The full hour-and-a-half tape is transcribed below (continuing tomorrow, and with the Q & A session to be featured here next weekend)

AG: Well, good evening, Rinpoche [Lobsang Samten Rinpoche] and I met very recently at the house … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 317

[Funeral for Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, May 26. 1997, Karme Choling, Tail of the Tiger Buddhist Meditation Center, Barnet, Vermont. Photo: Ray Ellis]

Today is the anniversary of Trungpa’s Rinpoche’s Buddhist cremation ceremony. Thirty years ago today, ‘”more than two thousand students and friends” gathered, “in a meadow ringed with pine and maple trees”, near Barnet, Vermont. (Karme Choling, Tail of the Tiger). Allen’s evocative and richly-detailed poem, (“I noticed the grass, I noticed the hills, I noticed the highways, I noticed the dirt road…”) ,”On Cremation of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Vidyadhara”, written shortly … Read More

Studs Terkel Interviews Allen Ginsberg, 1976 – part one

[Studs Terkel (1912-2008)]

We’ve already featured the classic 1959 Studs Terkel  WFMT radio interview with Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso in seven sections – here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

We also featured Allen and Philip Glass on Studs Terkel’s show in 1990 – here and here

We’ll be featuring, in the coming weeks, a third, a 1975 session with Allen and William Burroughs

but, first, this weekend, this, (courtesy George Drury and the remarkable trove which is the Studs Terkel Radio Archive) – Allen Ginsberg’s interview … Read More