AG: ..And I’m not sure, actually. I’m just posing the question, whether the continuous repetition of a fixed structure and memorization of it will then begin to collect emotions around it, and whether you’ll begin casting your own personal emotions into that slightly different emotional cadence, as in a Sapphic – or, is it possible that a stanza such as the Sapphic is so archetypal as far as breathing and emotional spurt, that anybody might breathe, or thin , … Read More
AG: Well, it’s not that that you need to be able to understand it [Greek prosody] to write a poem. It’s not perverting your speech to get those rhythms. Rather, it is that speech does have those rhythms, and that you can follow the cadences with those rhythms, that when we were taught in drama-school and high-school primary rhythms, it was very rare that anything was taught beyond the four variants of iamb, trochee, anapest and dactyl. – that seemed to be the range of the English ear, or awareness of rhythm, or American high-school awareness of rhythm, … Read More
Allen’s pedagogical insistence on quantative prosody, on the minutae of classical prosody, was something he came back to again and again with his students at Naropa (see, for example – one of many examples – here). In transcription, it makes, perhaps, for some somewhat tedious transcript – to hear the subtle and various distinctions he’s making, it really becomes necessary to listen closely to the audio (happily, here available). Allen does employ here a somewhat unique teaching method to lighten things up – … Read More
AG: Well, I don’t know. What happened to the “of”? – [”That She, dear She might take some pleasure/Of my pain”] – “of my pain”, “pleasure of my pain” – That’s one of the problems of the transcription. So we’ll substitute the “That” for the “Of”, we’ve still got six
“Pleasure might cause her read,/ reading might make her know”, no, “Pleasure/ might cause her/ read,/ … Read More
Here’s a find – courtesy “redfox60” and “Daily Motion”. Allen in 1994, in performance and being interviewed (lucid as always), on Greek tv – the presentation, by one Giorgos Kappa (a film with Greek sub-titles). Please excuse (we know you will) the fact that it’s not exactly synch-sound, but.. more than made-up for by substance.
(excuse also the possibility of a little advertising sneaking in at the beginning there!)
The piece opens with black-and-white footage of Allen with his harmonium performing “Father Death Blues”, also fleeting shots of New York City, and then the first segment of the interview. … Read More
Allen’s Spontaneous Poetry (Ballads) lectures, given at the Naropa Institute, Boulder, Colorado, in July and August of 1976, continue. This particular section continues the June 16 class.
AG: “The Lie” by Sir Walter Ralegh – Moving now from ballad to song, staying around the same time. We’re still before and after Shakespeare. There are a number of classical pieces of rhythm and imagery that those of you who are interested in poetry just as beaming mind-eye movies should know. And those of you who are writing