Vojo Sindolic’s 1986 Belgrade Interview – part two

[Dubrovnik, in the old city – Photograph -Beth Leonard]

Allen Ginsberg interview – continuing from yesterday

VS: When you first visited me in my home in my birthplace, the old city of Dubrovnik, in October of 1980, you were so delighted by its beauty that you decided to stop and stay for a long four weeks!  During that time we spent any happy hours together, talking just about everything, making plans for the first book of my translations of your poems. It was there in Dubrovnik that you wrote two of your best later poems – “Birdbrain”. and Eroica” … Read More

Apollinaire’s Calligrammes & Metrical Conclusions

[Guillaume Apollinaire ( 1880-1918) by Picasso]

Continuing from yesterday

AG: … Then. Willliam Apollinaire (Guillaume Apollinaire), the Frenchman also did Calligrammes (so that would be.. the French name for that form is a calligramme – design on the page). He has one called “il pleut” which is …   “From the eaves… ” –  From..  (F-r-o-m. t-h-e-e-a-v-e-s -t-h-e-g-l-i-s-t-e-n-i-n-g-d-r-o-p-s -o-f -w-a-t-e-r-f-a-l-l-o-v-e-r – t-h-e-w-h-o-l-e-c-i-t-y) –  I don’t know  [Allen offers a translation] – “From the eaves the glistening raindrops falls down and drains over the whole city”.  You know and it’s all..  the lines are let down in strings from the … Read More

Guillaume Apollinaire – (Ombre)

Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918)

A guest-posting today from our friend (and erstwhile long-time upstairs-neighbor of Allen’s in New York) poet, John Godfrey.

Today, August 26th, is the great Guillaume Apollinaire‘s birthday

“In 1965, the U.S. troop level in Vietnam exceeded 500,000. Allen Ginsberg became perhaps the most flamboyant of many literary opponents to the war. Bearded, beat and outspokenly homosexual, his appeal was great to the young and already converted. (Pull out your old copy of Planet News (City Lights, 1968) which contains “Wichita Vortex Sutra“). Allen’s attack was on the conscience of the government and the capitalist … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 246

 [Guillaume Apollinaire by Picasso]

Guillaume Apollinaire – Zone – Selected Poems – “The fruit of poet-translator Ron Padgett‘s fifty-year engagement with the work of France’s greatest modern poet” –   (a bilingual edition) – has just been published by the New York Review Books.  Don’t miss it.   For Allen Ginsberg on Apollinaire –  see (for example) his 1975 Naropa class here  (which includes, among other things, a complete reading and commentary on the title poem, “Zone”)   and here, here – (and, again, here)

 [Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918)]

“Guillaume, Guillaume how I envy your fame, your accomplishment for … Read More

Expansive Poetics — 95 ( Q & A – Classroom Scraps)

[Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918)]

Classroom Scraps – Here’s some Q & A at the end of Allen’s August 11 1981 Naropa Class –

AG: Well, I’ve been talking steadily [about Russian poetry, about Guillaume Apollinaire and Cubism and twentieth-century modernism] , so now I’ll shut up. Student: Did (Vladimir) Mayakovsky and his group.. were they familiar with “Zone”? AG: Well, now I think not. Maybe not. (They) might have. Some would have. There was a French influence on Osip Brik, Mayakovsky’s friend, and on (Nikolay) Gumilev and the Acmeists, but I don’t know. I know the … Read More

Expansive Poetics 93 – (Apollinaire & Frank O’Hara)

André Salmon

[Andre Salmon (1881-1969)]

[Frank O’Hara (1926-1966)]

Guillaume Apollinaire en novembre 1913 lors de son procès à Paris.

[Guillaume Apollinaire (1889-1918)]

AG: So the last thing we had in the anthology was a poem read (by Guillaume Apollinaire) at the marriage of Andre Salmon, and the reason I put that in is that, in addition to inaugerating double-sight Cubism juxtaposition modernity (of psychological modernity, as well as bellowing buses and tramcars and electric wires), he also inaugerated that “Personism“that Frank O’Hara writes of (as) his basic theory of poetry, which is that because the poet is the maker of the word, anything that happens to the consciousness of … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 91 Apollinaire – Le Pont Mirabeau)

[The voice of Guillaume Apollinaire, recorded at the laboratory of Abbé M. Rousselot, December 24th, 1913, reading his poetry – “Le Pont Mirabeau” and “Marie”]

AG: Incidentally, there’s a recording of (Guillaume) Apollinaire‘s voice. I don’t have it  [Allen is speaking in 1981]-  The only place I ever heard it was the Musee de Sonore [maybe the Archive de Parole?] – the Sound Museum in Paris, where there’s (also) a recording of Count Tolstoy, the writer – Tolstoy and Apollinaire – that far back – those do exist (just as the recordings of (Sergei) Esenin and (Vladimir) Read More

Expansive Poetics 90 – (Apollinaire and TS Eliot)

[Allen Ginsberg’s Annotated Copy of The Waste Land]

AG: The comparison to “The Waste Land” of this (Apollinaire’s “Zone”), particularly, “You are alone the morning is almost here/The milkmen rattle their cans in the street” ( “Tu es seul le matin va venir/ Les laitiers font tinter leurs bidons dans les rues”) – does that remind you of (T.S.) Eliot? – “Wipe your hands across your mouth and laugh,/ In the vacant allotments women gathering garbage“,  or something. Do you know the line? [Editorial note – Allen is quoting here, (slightly misremembering), the concluding lines from Eliot’s “Preludes” – … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 89 – Guillaume Apollinaire’s Zone

[translated in 1950, this is the cover to the 1972 Dolmen Press, Dublin edition of Guillaume Apollinaire‘s Zone translated by Samuel Beckett, the first seperate appearance of the text to appear in print]

[Illustrations pour

[Pierre de Gasztold – illustration from   “Les poètes voyagent de Baudelaire à Henri Michaux” –  Henri Parisot,  Delamain et Boutelleau, Paris, 1946]

AG: (So) then we have (finally) “Zone” – “You are tired at last of this old world/ O shepherd Eiffel Tower the flock of bridges bleats at the morning/ You have had enough of life in this Greek and Roman antiquity/ Even … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 88 – Jules Laforgue

[Jules Laforgue (1860-1887) – (Photo – Portrait -aged 25)]

AG: So enough of this bullshit, now to “Zone”, and it’s his (Apollinaire’s) greatest poem, and it’s spoken of as the first modern poem of the (twentieth) century. But, before we get to “Zone”, we’ll go back a little bit to another poet who turned the Modernists on, Jules Laforgue (also an enormous influence on T.S.Eliot  – (as well as on) Apollinaire).  I’ll read a brief poem (well, not so brief) called “Sentimental Blockade” (“Blocus sentimental!..) [actually, it’s entitled “The Coming Winter” (“Winter Coming On”) (“… Read More