[Allen Ginsberg in the War Resisters League office, May 1978 – photo: David McReynolds (c) David McReynolds]
Allen Ginsberg celebrations last night in Salerno, Italy – a collaboration between Casa della Poesia and La Locanda del Mare, presented by Sergio Iagulli, Raffaella Marzano and Giancarlo Cavallo, and drawing from the extensive audio and video archive of Casa della Poesia. (The event also featured a screening of the classic Beat film, Pull My Daisy, with Marzano’s appreciative and sensitive Kerouac translation)
KK: There’s an awful lot in my poems that I don’t understand at the time of writing them and if I understand them as I write them it’s usually a bad sign but I don’t think that’s ever happened.
“There are certain constants in my work and one is this interest in juxtaposing one thing against another in such a way that it’ll be dramatic and beautiful and funny and interesting. Incidentally, my work … Read More
Allen Ginsberg (following some brief announcements of upcoming readings by Anne Waldman)
Anne Waldman introduces Allen Ginsberg:;
AW: Allen Ginsberg – Guggenheim Fellow and member of the American Institute of Arts and Letters, the author of Howl, Kaddish, Planet News, The Fall of America, Mind Breaths, Plutonian Ode, Poems 1977-1980. His Collected Poems was published in January 1985 by Harper and Row. He has recently returned from China where he has been lecturing at the invitation of the Chinese Writers Union. He’s sung with Bob Dylan and The Clash,… Read More
AG: And then there’s a very nice one “To Daffodils”.. in term of the meter count, no, in terms of the syllable count. Dig what he’s got there –
“Fair Daffodils, we weep to see (eight syllables) /You haste away so soon (six syllables)/ As yet the early-rising sun (eight syllables)/Has not attain’d his noon (six syllables)/ Stay, stay, (two syllables)/ Until the hasting day (six syllables)/Has run (two syllables)/ But to the even-song (six syllables) / And, having pray’d together, we (eight syllables)/Will go with you along. (six (syllables)
We have short time to stay, as you, (eight)/ … Read More
[Kenneth Koch – Portrait of Kenneth Koch by Alex Katz]
Kenneth Koch Q & A from 1979 continues
KK: Maybe we should have some more questions. What would you like me to tell you about?
Student: What do you at Columbia?
KK: I teach three courses there. I’m a regular Professor. I teach a writing course with twelve students. It’s, I mean, in this writing course, it’s not just a poetry-writing course,
I have people writing poems and stories and plays. I even usually have them write, sometime in the year, one long lonely piece of criticism, because … Read More
Student: You.. When you write, do you get edited at all?
KK: I’ve never allowed anybody to edit me at all. People don’t edit poetry. I mean, if they do, they’re loco, I mean in the… You know, it depends.. If, say, John Ashbery were editing a magazine, and I sent in a poem, and he said, “Kenneth, I don’t.. … Read More
[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
From the incomporable Naropa University Archives, another vintage audio tape this weekend – (from June 25, 1979) a reading that took place in Denver, (Colorado), featuring Allen, alongside Kenneth Koch and Anne Waldman
Anne’s voice (a brief excerpt from a poem and a brief note of introduction) begins the tape, before Allen speaks)
AG: Thank you Anne, thank you everyone for coming. When I speak.. The sound-system here is real good, so when I speak, you can hear? everybody? Justin [sic] you can hear? every syllable?, every consonant? – Okay. What I’m going to do is mostly … Read More
AG: We also have, moving on fast to Robert Desnos, who died in a concentration camp during World War II – 1900 you’ll find him.. [Allen is referring here to his listing in the classroom anthology] – “The Voice of Robert Desnos” – “So much like the flower and the current of air/like the waterway like the shadows passing everywhere/like the smile glimpsed this amazing evening at midnight/so much like everything happiness and sadness/it’s yesterday’s midnight lifting its naked torso above/belfries and poplars./ I’m calling those lost in the countryside/the old corpses the young oaks … Read More