Friday’s Weekly Round-Up -346

[Allen Ginsberg in the studio, recording William Blake’s “Songs of Innocence and Experience”]

Amanda Petrusich, writing in The New Yorker

“The membrane between poetry and“song,” as we think of it in 2017, has always been flimsy and permeable; once all poems were songs. Ginsberg’s weird, wobbly singing [in “The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience” CD] is sometimes dissonant, but it gets at something essential to Blake’s work. It’s as good a narration of the phases of a life as I can think of..”

Might we recommend, as a holiday gift, this holiday…?

The re-release of Allen’s William Blake … Read More

Breath Poems

[Zephrus. God of the winds (detail from “The Birth of Venus,” Sandro Botticelli]

AG: .. ..(I cited some lines)  from Hart Crane’s poem “Hurricane” as an example of dochmaic meter… and the whole poem is really interesting, and it’s just in the sequence of poems I’ve been referring to, one time or another, like William Carlos Williams’ poem about Thursday  (air – coming in and out of his nose) , Shelley’s “Ode To the West Wind – (“Make me thy lyre even as the forest is’”… “Be thou me spirt fierce (the wind)”, or, “The breath whose might I have … Read More

More Shakespeare (Prospero’s Farewell Speech)

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[Prospero (a fragment from “Prospero, Miranda and Caliban” (1789) – Henry Fuseli  (1741-1825)- via York Museums Trust]

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air: And like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,                                                                               The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on; and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. Sir, I am … Read More

Keats and Shelley – (Keats’ Last Poem)

keatsgrave

[John Keats’ grave at the The Cimitero Acattolico (“Non-Catholic Cemetery”) in Rome, Italy]

 On Keats and Shelley  continued

Student: Have you seen the grave (of John Keats)?

AG: Yeah, sure, many times. I went there with Gregory.. (I) went there alone once and I went there with Gregory (Corso)

Student: I went there and it was closed but there was a little chink in the wall

AG: Yeah, and you can look in..

PO: I don’t think I was there.

AG: I think we went this time with (Fer)nanda (Pivano)

PO: Oh my god!

AG: ..in June, that one … Read More

Adonais

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[Sketch of the poet John Keats, July  1819,  by Charles Armitage Brown]

AG: Then a similar thing to Shelley was a very great poet at this particular colossal rhyme, the colossal breath, heroic or colossal breath, I guess, is Adonais (do folks know that? Adonais? – how many have read through Adonais? – how many have not? – Adonais – well, that’s a great one. That’s his elegy on the death of poor old John Keats, (it’s on (page) 685, well the verses I want are on 685). That’s really best… You notice it begins on page … Read More

The Reverend Howard Finster

 

Allen Ginsberg sitting on a Howard Finster chair in Paradise Garden, Pennville, Georgia, 1988

The Reverend Howard Finster, Baptist preacher and internationally-renowned folk artist passed away 15 years ago. This year (2016) is the Howard Finster Centennial. A centennial show is currently up at the Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, Virginia (up until February 5, 2017)

A colorful and ubiquitous figure (particularly in the 1980’s) and extraordinarily prolific (it is estimated he made over 46,000 individual art works), he claimed to be divinely inspired.

“MY BRAINE IS COMPUTERIZED FROM GOD. IT COMES DOWN TO MY RIGHT HAND IN … Read More

Comprehensive Reading

Edmund Spenser (1552-1599)

AG: Edmund Spenser is a colossus, and he’s so big that I think we’ll go around him Except, maybe, one or two, one or two little short things – the Epithalamion – a big Leviathan poem here, marriage poem. What I would suggest is that you go home and read it. It’s got a great stanza form, it’s got a great rhythmic form. So what we might do (here) is read just the first and last stanzas, just to get the stanzaic form get a taste..  Page 162 – I’m sorry..

Well, he’s very brilliant in, you … Read More

Kenneth Koch’s 1979 Naropa Class

                                                               [Kenneth Koch (1925-2002]Kenneth Koch last week – Here’s transcription of Kenneth’s (Summer Academy of Practicing Writers) May 26, 1979 Naropa class

KK: [on being confronted with a tape-recorder] –  Am I registering alright on the future? – ”nothing must be lost” – I don’t know when anybody’s going to find time to listen to all the things that are being recorded in the present. They’ll be wasting their … Read More

Keats, Shakespeare and Kerouac (A Query)

 

                                                                           

[Jack Kerouac] 

                                                                         

John Keats

                                                                   

William Shakespeare

Student: Allen, wouldn’t you say that a lot of the British poems written in (the) English language (are, formally, tight)?

AG: Until this century, yes. ‘Tis is a craft, sir. To be able to…  (and) (let’s see you do this!). This (too) [Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues] is a craft – the craft of observation of mind. The discipline here is the discipline of observation of mind accurately – accurate, precise, observation of mind.
 
Student: But it sounds (initially, without a) sense of craft and, (clearly), it took a long time to get … Read More