AG: I have this chronology here, so I’d like to run over a few things in it. The beginning of this (is on page) four hundred. Little miscellaneous poems. In the miscellaneous poems of the Poetical Sketches, which are 1769 or so, there’s one “To Spring”,“To Summer”,“To Autumn”, “To Winter”, and they’re all really very Shakesperean-sounding, and very vivid They were written when he was fourteen, maybe – really early – and in autumn there’s a funny one – “Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat,/Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak/Hills fled … Read More
[“Capitol Air” – “I don’t like the government where I live..” – Allen Ginsberg, pictured here with Joe Strummer and Mick Jones of The Clash]
[Allen Ginsberg, 1985 Self Portrait – Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto (c) The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]
More strange tapes from the archives. Solitary splendors. Throw-away musings. We’ll be featuring plenty more substantial things in the months to come but thought to follow up last week’s mournful ditty with this – another fugitive thing, another fleeting but poignant “audio-selfie” – Allen, alone with the tape-recorder, practicing, sounding out and composing a … Read More
[Peter Orlovsky – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg, New York City, 1995]
Here’s another sliver from the Archives – Allen (on an airplane maybe?) composing directly onto the tape-recorder, a poignant little ditty, (audio – 78 at Stanford – from, as Allen duly informs us, 1992) – “For Peter Orlovsky in Rain” (but surely that’s a mistranscription? – shouldn’t it be “For Peter Orlovsky in Pain“?)
AG: “It’s recording I guess. I don’t know but I suppose it’s recording. What time is it now? It’s about nine o’clock and it’s the 11th of March, 1992, and I’m preparing this … Read More
[Seymour Wyse, Horace Mann School, 1940 (courtesy of Dave Moore)]
Returning to the extraordinary trove of tapes of Allen now in the archives at Stanford University, here’s a recently-discovered gem – Allen, in 1981, at Leicester University, in England, in conversation with the figure who turned on the young Jack Kerouac to a rich and life-long appreciation of jazz, his old Horace Mann schoolmate – Seymour Wyse.
Edie Parker Kerouac (remembering Seymour Wyse, in Boulder, the following year) : “Yeah and he used to scat, and he and Jack used to do this together. And the first time, … Read More
AG: ..And I’m not sure, actually. I’m just posing the question, whether the continuous repetition of a fixed structure and memorization of it will then begin to collect emotions around it, and whether you’ll begin casting your own personal emotions into that slightly different emotional cadence, as in a Sapphic – or, is it possible that a stanza such as the Sapphic is so archetypal as far as breathing and emotional spurt, that anybody might breathe, or thin , … Read More
BF: I want (you) to read from the Table of Contents, like the virtuous…
AG: (It’s) [“Wales Visitation‘] a bit long, like eight minutes or so. Something.. And I had been used, generally, on television, to be told to please make it one minute – “Please make it two minutes” – (because they don’t realize the power of poetry, they think, you know, that everybody’s going to get bored!)
So I’ll read it again and I’d like to dedicate the reading to the absent … Read More
Changes to our site you may have noticed. Bear with us as we iron out a few more wrinkles..
Among the information freshly disseminated above, forthcoming autumn publications including Iron Curtain Journals: January-May 1965 edited by Michael Schumacher, tracking Allen’s most turbulent six months, his expulsion from Cuba, travels to Russia, Poland, Warsaw Ghetto, to Prague where he’s expelled by Czech police immediately after his May King crowning, only to land in London to meet the Beatles, film with Bob Dylan and host the The International Poetry Incarnation at the Royal Albert Hall. We can’t wait for this one.
AG: Then, the next thing I wanted to pick up is the relation of… passing on.. to Isaac Watts (or back to Isaac Watts, you realize the last week , we’ve taken a long loop from Isaac Watts and are back to Isaac Watts now – second poem of Isaac Watts (in that anthology) is…. what page is that? ..
Student: Four forty-five
AG: Four forty-nine?
AG; Okay. Did anybody get to read that “Cradle Hymn“? – third poem. Who likes to read..?