George Herbert – 5 (Discipline)

[“Throw away thy rod/Throw away thy wrath..”]

Allen Ginsberg on George Herbert continues 

AG: So, (his poem), Discipline, (page two-ninety-eight) –  Let’s see.. Yeah, here’s another, where he wrote..  where the short line is in the third – (rod/wrath/God/path, desire/bent/aspire/consent) – “(The) Discipline” – “Throw away thy rod,/ Throw away thy wrath: /O my God,/Take the gentle path./ For my heart’s desire/ Unto thine is bent:/  I aspire/ To a full consent./ Not a word or look/ I affect to own,/ But by book,/ And thy book alone…” – There’s such an interesting cadence there, an interesting way to..constructing … Read More

George Herbert – 4 (The Collar)

 

Allen Ginsberg on George Herbert continues

“The Collar” [by George Herbert] – (page two-ninety-four) –  is..  is an odd one, because it’s totally bhakti, totally devotional, (a real prayer, but it’s a rare one, in a sense…he… Herbert occasionally breaks through with an absolutely straight emotional and clear heart thought and this is one of his famous breakthroughs of that kind.).

So I’d like to read it just to get the tone of (this) last compared to the rest….   He’s mad – “I struck a board and cried – No more” – “I struck the board, and cried, … Read More

George Herbert – 3

[George Herbert stained-glass window, in the village church of Bishop Burton, East Riding, Yorkshire, designed by Charles Eamer Kempe (1837-1907)]

AG: (George Herbert’s) “The Windows” has got one funny line in it – (page) two eighty-eight – the second line – “Lord, how can man preach thy eternal word?/ He is a brittle crazy glass” – that’s a nice one – “He is a brittle crazy glass” – “crazy” here is here defined as “flawed”, they say – “ Man is a brittle crazy glass” – Just an interesting little snippet I thought.

“Lord, how can … Read More

George Herbert – 2

(George Herbert’s) “Prayer” – Well, there’s only just one great line in that, but we’ll read the whole thing anyway. Anybody want to try and read Herbert? – [to Student] -Scott? (sic)

Student: (Scott) (I don’t have the poem in the book)

AG: Oh you don’t have the book. Anybody enjoy reading aloud? –  [to Student] – Have you done it before?

Student: Yes

AG: Who hasn’t? Who hasn’t read aloud here? Who hasn’t exercised their vocal chords? –  [to Student] – You haven’t have you? – Just… Yeah Okay, why don’t you try reading it “ – Who’s religious? … Read More

George Herbert – 1

[George Herbert  (1593-1633) – painted by Robert White]

George Herbert – and some biographical background might explain where he’s at. From the Oxford Book of English Poetry …let me see. Well, he went to Trinity College, he was an undergraduate at Cambridge, and he began to write religious verse in college, then, 1619 (he was born in 1593) 1619 he was made Public Orator of the University and that was like sort of an appointed role which he thought would bring him into contact with royalty and he would get ahead in the State, but apparently he didn’t make out, … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 76 (Typography – 1)

{[ [A manuscript page of an unpublished Ginsberg poem” – to illustrate the 1966 Paris Review interview]
AG: Typographical typography – topography – Typographical Topography – I invented that category! – Topography – the way it looks on the page, the map, the map of the words on the page (or, that’s probably the wrong word, but, anyway, the typographical arrangement of words on the page) is another 20th Century trick, or technique, or piece of shrewdness for arranging the lines on the page. This is for the eye more than for the tongue or the mouth. And for … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 44 (George Herbert)

[George Herbert (1593-1633)]

AG: On George Herbert, there are a few poems which.. I mean, there is a great deal to read. Has anybody read any of Herbert? How many have read Herbert? And how many don’t know any of his poems. Raise your hands. So I’ll just get a couple in. He was a priest, and “God” ‘s in and out of his poetry, plus a funny kind of personal eccentricity and crankiness, which makes him interesting now because he’s a strange goof. [Allen begins by reading George Herbert’s “The Collar” – “I struck the board and cried, … Read More