Allen Ginsberg Reading in Baltimore – 1978 – 3 (Contest of Bards)


[Väinämöinen in the Kalevala, the model for the Old Bard in Allen Ginsberg’s “Contest of Bards”]

continuing from last weekend

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), 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

The Kalevala

AG: Does anybody know the Finnish epic, “The Kalevala”. Has anybody ever read any of that? – I’d like to read a few pages of that. It’s an epic poem which was originally in oral form, and (was) written down in the nineteenth-century by a Swedish [sic] scholar, Elias Lönnrot, [Editorial note – Lönnrot was actually a Finn] and translated (fantastically) by Francis Peabody Magoun and published by (the) Harvard University Press. It’s called “(The) Kalevala” – K-A-L-E-V-A-L-A, and in the chapter, or poem, three, that I’m going to read from, this old bard, who has had lots of … Read More