More Robert Duncan – 2

Robert Duncan at Novato, California, 1976,  continuing from – here

AG: Well, lets now for… to move onto a few more poems from this book [Bending the Bow]. It’s the first book also in which the contemplation of the meaning of our American experience emerges very strongly and it’s nice in our solemn bicentennial year (1976 (sic) – Duncan is speaking in 1976),   I haven’t got an American flag hanging in the background, But if poets came out roaring when the inequities of America appeared at full blast in that Vietnamese War, it was not because they weren’t American, it … Read More

Allen Ginsberg and Tom Schwartz on John Milton – 5

[“Priscian, or the Grammarian”  (the Latin teacher) – marble cameo panel (dated 1437-1439), from the bell tower of Florence, Italy. – Luca della Robbia – Museo dell’Opera del Duomo]

Allen Ginsberg and Tom Schwartz on John Milton’s poetry continues 

AG: So, the other thing is, do you know anything about the syntax?  the Latin, the effect of Latin on his (Milton’s) syntax?

TS: No not really, except for a (quality) of many of these versions.

AG: Well, do you know Latin at all?

TS: No.

AG: Has anybody studied Latin? – Could you explain Latin? ..oh – {to two students] … Read More

Horace – 5

[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

Horace – 4


Student: (Did John Burnett [a Naropa student] do [read out loud] any Horace?) AG: Pardon me? Student:  John Burnett? AG: No, he didn’t do any Horace. (So), let’s see, okay, yeah… Student (begins reading)  [Horace Book 2 – Ode XIV]  “Ah, how they glide by, Postumus, Postumus,/ The years, the swift years!/ Wrinkles and imminent/ Old age and death, whom no one conquers -/ Piety cannot delay their onward/ March; no, my friend, not were you to sacrifice/Three hundred bulls each day to inflexible/ Pluto whose grim moat holds the triple/ Geryon jailed with his fellow giants/ Death’s … Read More

Horace – 3


Picking up again on Allen’s 1980 “Sapphics” class, going through his classoom anthology  AG: So that was..  [Horace and Thomas Wyatt (bemoaning wasted opportunity)]  Okay..also, there’s a great poem by Francois Villon  about an old.. It’s called “Ballade de la belle  Heaumière  aux filles de joie”“The Complaint of the Fair Helm-Maker Grown Old”). It’s a real meticulous description, like her lacking her teeth, and the rheum matter of her eye, and the sagging belly collapsed –  a really horrific description!  This also refers a little bit to the Catullus that we just passed by, that we … Read More