AG: Edmund Spenser is a colossus, and he’s so big that I think we’ll go around him Except, maybe, one or two, one or two little short things – the Epithalamion – a big Leviathan poem here, marriage poem. What I would suggest is that you go home and read it. It’s got a great stanza form, it’s got a great rhythmic form. So what we might do (here) is read just the first and last stanzas, just to get the stanzaic form get a taste.. Page 162 – I’m sorry..
HARK, all you ladies that do sleep!
The fairy-queen Proserpina
Bids you awake and pity them that weep
You may do in the dark
What the day doth forbid;
Fear not the dogs that bark,
Night will have all hid.
But if you let your lovers moan,
The fairy-queen Proserpina
Will send abroad her fairies every one,
That shall pinch black and blue
Your white hands and fair arms
That did not kindly… Read More
Allen Ginsberg’s January 1980 Basic Poetics class continues (in preparation for future notes on John Dowland) AG; Apparently, I have.. the “Fine Knacks For Ladies“ that you gave me the recording? – I have some (John) Dowland around and I had that so I’ll try and bring in a… I was going to try and get Charlie (Ross – sic) to bring in a phonograph today. Were there any others on that beside the “Fine Knacks For Ladies” ?
AG: Some of the ideas that (Basil) Bunting was laying out, I would like to lay out here because they’re just very interesting. He was saying that, first of all, English poetry was sung up until the 17th century. All the poets wrote for singing
including, of all people, John Donne! – Donne was sung. He was put to music by a fellow named Ferrabosco of that era (do you know anything about that?) –
Well, apparently Donne was actually sung. Donne is usually taught nowadays as
if he… you know.. he has one or two
tape resumes in media res.. class discussion of traditional and modernist metrics
AG:…. how many (syllables in the) French alexandrine?
AG: Twelve. And if you write in eight, eleven, or twelve syllables, pretty soon you develop an automatic body ear for being able to do it. Among moderns, Kenneth Rexroth‘s longer works are done by syllables – you’ll see a long column of poetic lines and they’re all six or seven or eight syllables. A number of poets worked with that. So that was Marianne Moore‘s way.
H.D. – Hilda Doolittle was a lesbian and … Read More
AG: To make a long story short, (Ezra) Pound went to Venice, (and) studied some classical languages and Renaissance, and Provencal poetries, specializing in two areas – one, where the language moved, from Latin to a provincial language, that is to say, where writers made the transition from writing in classical Latin to writing in French Provencal, or troubadour language, or.. what other languages?..in Italy, that was…
Student: It’s Provencal in the south of France, and koine for northern Spain and Italy.
AG: What was it called?
AG: [phonetically] ko-ee-nay
Student: K-O-I-N-E It’s a common language..
AG … Read More
So there’s two poems by Ezra Pound – I haven’t got the dates on them but I’m guessing that they’re around 1917, around World War I or before.
“Commission” – First is Pound’s address to his own poems (just as Whitman had addressed his poems to go out into the world – “who touches this book touches a man” [“Camerado, this is no book,/Who touches this touches a man”] “missing me, stop somewhere, you’ll find me under your feet” [“If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles”…”Missing me one place search another/I stop somewhere waiting for you”])
… Read More