Tom Schwartz: There’s a very good book by F.T.Prince – The Italian Element in Milton’s Verse which is a nice short book which gets to the heart of the matter. Milton was very fascinated with Italian poets of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, just before him, Tasso, in particular, and the standard Italian line contained eleven syllables, and for various reasons, a ten-syllable line works in English (mainly because we don’t have so many vowels and we have heavier consonants) and, basically, wnat Milton prosody comes down to in the … Read More
AG: Now how dare we assume that it’s meant for speaking aloud anyway? (aside from all the evidence that I’ve been producing in the last four months, three months). Well, what we have is (John) Milton’s own book on that. And so, he’s got for Paradise Lost (not in your book but in a complete Paradise Lost), there’s a thing, a little preface he gives to Paradise Lost called “The Verse” – (and he’s telling about the verse-forms). So this was his particular scheme. Now he did Greek and Latin and he knew it real well and he wrote … Read More
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
Allen presents, as the last part of his reading at the Maryland Institute College of Art, February 16. 1978, a complete reading of his recently-completed epic poem, “Contest of Bards”
AG: (The poem was written in) 1977..so, just about a year and.. a year and a month ago, here in town. (in Baltimore) – -[Editorial note – Ginsberg also elsewhere noted that sections were written in Washington DC] It’s divided into three parts. and I had been reading all … Read More
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..
[Allen continues with his review of his classroom anthology]AG: And the Sapphic Catullan form was picked up by, as we have in here [in this xerox anthology], Sir Walter) Raleigh and (Sir Philip) Sidney. So, if you continue turning (the pages of the anthology), you’ll get up to Raleigh. (If you can find that, it’s about three-quarters of the way – okay, let’s find the Raleigh first, then we can pay undivided attention) – about two-thirds down – It was called the perfect Sapphic! … here was are – the perfect Sapphic in English) – about two-thirds of the way down, at … Read More
[Allen Ginsberg and Andrei Voznesensky in June 1985 in Allen’s New York City East 12th Street apartment – photograph by Hank O’Neal]
Student: I’d like to get back to the echoes..the thoughts echoing densities of speech, or something like that. The thought that comes out has a certain density of substance.
AG: Okay, when you said that, what came into my mind was, “What does he mean, asking a question like that?”. And I heard it almost like a little silver flash – “What does he mean, asking a question like that?” – “What does he mean, asking a question … Read More