Granelli & Sompa and basic rhythms

[Photo: Jazz drummer, percussionist, Jerry Granelli]

Student: (Rhythm.. rhythms)

AG: But – wait a minute – but, if you did a little bit of work with Titos Sompa [Congolese-Californian teaching at Naropa] and [jazz-drummer] Jerry Granelli in analyzing, not analyzing, just learning, the basic Afric rhythms that they use ( you’ve heard them play, haven’t you?)

Student: (Sure).

AG: Have you heard Titos Sompa? – What are their names, Titos and..?

Student: Bemba..

AG: Bemba..  They are teaching basic African rhythms, (which are not very different from this kind of five.. five-beat rhythms – in fact, what they are … Read More

William Blake – Auguries of Innocence – 6


[Beggar with a Lyra (c. 1900) – Photograph by Nikolay Svishchev-Paola]


[Allen continues with his observations and annotations on William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence]

AG: “The Beggars Rags fluttering in Air/Does to Rags the Heavens tear”  – That’s an interesting one – “The Beggars Rags fluttering in (the) Air” (and you just see a leprous beggar, lying down on the ground, with the rags fluttering in air).. actually, there’s a very funny sort of space-shot there – that the rags would be “fluttering in Air” ) – “Does to rags the Heavens tear” – What does that mean?… Read More

Expansive Poetics – 11 ( Herman Melville)

AG: Then, another heroic precursor, nineteenth-century, is Herman Melville, as a poet. How many here have run across Melville as a poet? Yeah. Has anybody here read Melville as a prose writer? – Moby Dick?  That’s much more common. And how many have seen his poetry again [show of hands] – Yeah – I think he’s one of the four great poets of the nineteenth-century – (Emily) Dickinson, (Herman) Melville, (Edgar Allan) Poe (and) (Walt) Whitman. His work in poetry isn’t as well known, but it’s great. And he’s got a big thick book. Robert Penn Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 139

File:Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Tower of Babel (Vienna) - Google Art Project - edited.jpg

[Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526-1569) – Tower of Babel (1563), oil on panel, 44.8 inches x 61 inches at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria]  

  AG: I wanted to find out… Let’s see.. I  took over the space just as Philip Whalen was going to discourse on the languages that he spoke – and read… I butted in. I was interested in hearing.. ((I want to) switch again, just a moment)..because, I was conscious (that), when I began my sentence about (reading) (Federico Garcia) Lorca, [editor’s note, he means Rilke] that I was answering first.  [Allen turns to … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 118 (Wordsworth – 4)

AG: Now we find Wordsworth later (at the very end) writing poems on Law and Order!

A group of “Sonnets Dedicated to Liberty and Order”! I’m not reading them because they’re great poems (although they are interesting), but I’m reading them because, well, what happened? .. what’s the evidence? how did he.. what did he do?

“Composed After Reading a Newspaper of the Day” (this is now 1831, so, thirty years later, it’s really an after-thought) – [Allen reads Wordsworth’s “Composed After Reading a Newspaper of the Day”] – “People!, your chains are severing link by link,/ Soon shall the … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 31 (Reading List – 2) (Melville)

[Herman Melville (1819-1891)]

Allen’s July 1976 reading list continues


AG: Herman Melville. I don’t know what anthologies carry his poetry. This is [Allen displays a copy of Melville’s Collected Poems] his poetry. He is a great poet. Very cranky weird language, like “there is a thick coal black angel..”, no, “There is a coal-black Angel/with a thick Afric lip..” He’s describing a cannon overlooking Vicksburg. “There is a coal black angel with a thick Afric lip.” – That’s where I get my”Afric” (or that’s where I get a certain sound). That’s where (Jack) Kerouac got … Read More