“Allen Ginsberg and I were very close friends for twenty years from 1977 until his death in 1997. I felt and still feel deep love for his poetic insight, or as one may call it – it was literary … Read More
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: Let’s see what else he (Andre Breton) says (in his first Surrealist Manifesto) – “…(the) omnipotence of the dream, in the disinterested play of thought. It tends definitivly to ruin all the old psychic mechanisms and to take their place in the solution to the principal problems of life” – [(In other words, inspired automatonism as a response to a burglar or policeman or war) – After remarking that a number of poets from Dante to Shakespeare ‘in his best-days” (sic) might be looked on as “super-realists” (Surrealists), on genius, he says] – “In the … Read More
AG: And then there’s another funny passage right after that from (the section of “The Bridge”called) “The Tunnel” where (Hart) Crane also picks up on the image of Edgar Allan Poe, whom we’ve already dealt with a little bit. Weird Poe – Poe of the weir, or weird. And he sees a vision of Poe in the subway. Poe, as you know, at the end, his last day – or you may know – was dragged from place to place, voting, from voting-place to voting-place. He’d drunk a little, and was found in the gutter, and was, like, … Read More
Then, in America, the most interesting person around (at) the same time (as Pushkin, in the nineteenth-century), born 1809 and died early, 1849, is Edgar Allan Poe. Are most of you familiar with Poe? How many here are familiar with Poe? How many here are not? [Students raise a show of hands] – Yeah. How many have read “The Bells” by Poe? And how many have not? Poe’s “..Bells” Well, that’d be kind of interesting to do.
“The Bells” was the earliest poem that I knew, and that determined my rhythmic system, probably, because my father would go … Read More
We’ve already featured them reading together before – from 1974 here, and from 1976, here, but here, from 1977 is vintage audio of Allen and Anne Waldman reading. Allen begins, thanking his sponsors and setting out his plans.
AG: We owe thanks to Naropa and Peter Lieberson and Meg for arranging this luxurious space for us to orate in, because, actually, it turned out to be a nice situation. I’m going to begin where I left off last summer (1976) in poetry reading with a series of poems on my father’s death – called “Don’t Grow Old” … Read More