Ben Jonson – (“Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes”)

AG:   To (Ben)  Jonson. What I wanted to get onto was page two-sixty, “The Triumph of Charis“.. oh no, before that, we did that, those two little epitaphs, on page two fifty-six, two fifty-seven – and, on the way out, (Ted) Berrigan reminded me of a poem he likes particularly, “On Gut”  – “Gut eats all day and lechers all the night..” – page two fifty-six – patting his belly and preaching on gut – “Gut eats all day and lechers all the night;/So all his meat he tasteth over twice;/Andm striving so to double his … Read More

“Western Wind” and “A Thousand Miles Away From Home”

Allen Ginsberg continues his discussion of early English lyricsAG: “Westron Wynde” – Does anybody know that? – “Westron wynde, when wilt thou blow?” – Huh? – Before we get there – wait a minute- yeah, “Westron Wynde” (page sixty-nine). How many people… how many have heard of that before? – Raise your hand if you have [a scattering in the class raise their hands] – You mean there are (only) five people in this class that have ever heard of that? . Okay. This is maybe the greatest poem in the English language. Really! – Like, the archetype poem … Read More

New Stanzas for Amazing Grace

“I dreamed I dwelled in a homeless place/ Where I was lost alone/ Folk looked right through me into space/And passed with eyes of stone..” Allen Ginsberg’s “New Stanzas for Amazing Grace”, an up-dated revisioning of an old song, was composed (in April 1994) at the request of Ed Sanders for his innovative project,  “The New Amazing Grace” (new lyrics, old melody), and was performed, in November of that year, as part of an all-star gathering at the Poetry Project (St Mark’s Church) in New York.

Here (courtesy of the soundtrack of the indispensible Jerry Aronson’s Life and Times of Allen Read More