Spontaneous Poetics – 35 (Reading List 6) (Frank O’Hara, Hart Crane, John Milton)

AG: Frank O’Hara. Lunch Poems is an easy way to get into O’Hara. Put out by City Lights. Anne Waldman: Selected Poems would be the best buy tho’ AG: Yeah Anne Waldman: And there are some (of them) in it. AG: Are (the) Lunch Poems in there? – Yeah? – Okay, then the Selected Poems. There’s a giant book (Collected Poems) and then there’s a selection of the giant book – and of those..”Khrushchev Is Coming To New York” [the actual title is “Poem (Khrushchev is Coming On The Right Day)“]- well, a lot … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics (Ballads) – 29

[Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586) via the National Portrait Gallery, London]

AG: So, anyway, the reason I got off into quantity was.. [back to Sir Walter Ralegh’s “The Lie” – Allen sings, to harmonium accompaniment, the first two stanzas of the poem – “Go Soul, the body’s guest,/ Upon a thankless errand/ Fear not to touch the best;/ The truth shall be thy warrant..”] – I guess you could do it that way, easy enough. It was something relevant to another conversation several days ago (about a poet) of this era, Sir Philip Sidney. Some students were asking if … Read More

Louis Ginsberg Guests In Allen’s 1975 NAROPA Class – Part One

[Allen & father Louis Ginsberg, teaching course at Naropa, August 1975. Photo c. Rachel Homer]
AG: Okay, my father and I have given poetry readings together in the past, and he’s one of my gurus of poetry in a sense that he first taught me verse and first taught me sound, so I thought, getting it from the horse’s mouth, since he was going to be here, it would be a good idea for us to teach together, because we’ve never taught poetry together. I’ll turn the class over to you for about three quarters of an hour to go … Read More

Gnosticism, Milton & More (Allen’s 1975 NAROPA class continues – 1)

A classic painting often used to describe the journey of the Gnostic

Continuing with Allen’s June 23 1975 NAROPA lecture, (topics already covered, John Donne and Andrew Marvell – and now this):

AG: According to some Gnostic schools, in the beginning was the Abyss of Light, which somehow shimmered to reflect itself for a moment and that reflection was the Word, known as Sophia, wisdom, or word, and in Sophia’s mind, being born, she had a thought and, as (William) Blake says, “One thought fills immensity”. So her thought was the first Aeon, first time-span, presided over by the Archon, or ruler of the Aeon, or guardian … Read More

Spiritual Poetics – 2

Allen Ginsberg 1974 Spiritual Poetics class continues

AG; I began the class somewhat thoughtlessly, crudely, with vocalizing, so we’re all vocalizing together with some spirit. And, in a way.. there’s no reason that poetry.. or, there are reasons, but it would be ideal if the poetry we arrive at, writing, could involve us enough, joyfully or liv-li-ly enough, involve us enough that we could recite our own poetry with the same kind of spirit (as) that we sing, the same kind of abandon, dig it as much, actually dig our own utterances as much as we could our own non-sensical … Read More