AG: Let’s start in the anthology with Sir John Suckling(page three forty-nine), with the poem called “Song”, which my father used to stomp around the house and recite when he was teaching it in high school all the time because it’s a charming poem, and, apparently, it was very popular among the lyric poets of the 1920s as a model example of all-time great top-ten lyric out of English history. And it fitted in with the tuneful cynicism of the ‘twenties, like (the) Floradora Sextette and the Flappers, … Read More
A passionate letter today from 1965 (at the height of the Vietnam War), Allen, in San Francisco, on this day (November 29), writing to his father. The naivety, indeed myopia, on his father’s side exasperated Allen (the simplicity of the goad that he was a “Communist” that the “Commies infiltrated and used guerilla tactics to ravage and despoil and murder countless peaceful S(outh) Vietnamese”, that somehow an evil manipulating Communist China was the true force behind things and that America, far from being an aggressor, was somehow welcomed there as “protector”. “I’m not playing that game”, Allen declares .… Read More
[Allen begins reading from “Sad Dust Glories”] – “When I sit/I see dust motes in my eye/Ponderosa needles trembling/shine green/in blue sky./Wind sound passes thru/ pine tops, distant/windy waves flutter back/oak leaves/and leave thenm still/like my mind/which forgets why the blue jay across the wood’s clearing/squwks, in mid-afternoon.”
MR: Welcome to “I Believe” and Allen Ginsberg. Allen, I suspect that a lot … Read More
Allen Ginsberg in the Archives at Stanford University
Today big news to report, Stanford University have finally completed a monumental task – the audio/video elements that were reformatted from the Ginsberg papers are now available as streaming media through their catalog. We’ll be focusing more on this in the weeks ahead. Meanwhile to access the Ginsberg catalog immediately – see here
(and read Stanford’s announcement of this, indeed, major “cause for celebration” – here)
Today, please be aware, is Hart Crane‘s birthday (born 1899. died off the Gulf of Mexico).
Today is the official release day for The Complete Songs Of Innocence And Experience, Allen’s Blake settings, re-released on CD and Digital by Omnivore Recordings, for the first time, (plus a second disc of rarities and previously unissued songs). For earlier announcements on the Allen Ginsberg Project – see here and here.
Allen Ginsberg and Studs Terkel continuing from here
[At approximately half-way through their conversation, approximately thirty-two minutes in, Allen sings“Gospel Noble Truths” (“Born in this world, you’ve got to suffer..”) making several improvised additions – (“no permanent soul!”, “the dharma chakra”, “Look what you’ve done – 1968” – “Let go, Studs!”)
AG: You looked like you didn’t want to “let go” of “earth heaven and hell” there!.
ST: And as Ned Kelly, the bandit, said, before they hanged him, and they sprang the trap – “That’s life! “. You said, “Die when you die”. I was about to … Read More
A Night With Allen Ginsberg – Allen Ginsberg’s reading at Loyola University, New Orleans, 1990. An eye-witness recalls: “The overflow crowd filled up the aisles and the outside lobby, so he (Allen) invited audience members to sit on the stage with him. (we see them on the stage there)/ He also (that same visit) did a meditation workshop, and his Collected Poems had just appeared so he spent a whole afternoon signing copies and illustrating each with a drawing”.
AG: So, I’ll begin with music in honor of the President and the great phony war on dope. This is … Read More
In this 1986 footage (from the New Jersey Public Television tv magazine show, State of the Arts) Allen is filmed in his East 12th Street New York City apartment, against the backdrop of his cubbyhole library), The segment begins in media res, with him reading from “Howl” (from the classic “Moloch” section) – “What sphinx of cement and aluminium bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains an imagination? / Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks!?Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare … Read More