[Neal Cassady (1926-1968) – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg]
AG: Then, Donne – I tried an imitation of (John) Donne. That was really early. This is like the vers de college, the verse of college days. That was an imitation of… where is our Donne (here(?… There’s a line of Donne’s that I liked was… well, this was more or less an imitation of “For God’s sake hold thy tongue and let me love”. You know that (poem) (on page two three-three) – Remember? Anybody remember? Take a look at that, you’ll see.
AG: There’s a nice, … but then, something that happens now, from here on out. It started. You got a shot of it in (John) Donne with that masochistic religion, and the interiorization of the spirit into some kind of deus ex machina outside, on the other side of the clouds, that’s supposed to come and rape your mind. And then, from then on, there’s all these different varieties..it gets squeezed..English poetry gets squeezed more and more into this … Read More
AG: There is a poem of (John) Donne‘s which is not in the book which I would like to lay out. I think it may be his last poem or toward his last poem, his last, death, poem – “A Hymn to God The Father”, which doesn’t seem to be in this book, though it’s one of his best, in terms of puns. There is a late poem on death, at the end here (of your book), “Hymn To God In My Sickness, but I’ll read this other one because … Read More
From a March 1980 classroom, Allen Ginsberg and Naropa students discuss John Donne and the experience of love, ecstasy, and hallucinations – continued from yesterday
AG: No, it says that they’re one [the lovers in John Donne’s “The Ecstasy”]…they become one. Well, maybe everybody’s experience of love is different, but I’ve had the opportunity in the last few days (and other times too) to just lie a long time looking into someone’s eyes, you know, for hours preceeding the actual physical love-making, and there’s a kind of ethereal deliciousness that goes … Read More
Allen Ginsberg’s comments on John Donne’s “The Ecstasy” continues.
AG: So…. “That abler soul which hence doth flow/Defects of loneliness controls” – (controls the defect of being lonely – it’s just an inversion in the syntax there that makes it a little confusing – that love, that the abler soul controls loneliness’s defects ) –
“We then, who are this new soul, know” – (in other words,, they get smart,, they … Read More
Allen Ginsberg on John Donne’s “The Ecstacy” – continues
AG: “This ecstacy does unperplex/…and tell us what we love” – What “unperplex” means is that this ecstasy that we experience clears up, clears up the mystery. It wasn’t sex that we loved necessarily, directly. We had not seen before what was moving us when we thought it was just sex – “We see we saw not what did move” – before – (see-saw – that’s supposedly an example of (John) Donne‘s great wit – “We see we saw…” – da-da da-da – funny double-talk, like intellectual double-talk – but … Read More