Blake continues – (Poetical Sketches)

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

“I don’t like the government where I live..”

[“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

“Senior Citizen Old Boy Joy”

[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

Kerouac-Cassady (Jack Kerouac Scat Singing)

[Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac – Photograph by Carolyn Cassady]

We continue this week mining the treasure which is the extraordinary trove of audio at the Allen Ginsberg archives, now housed at Stanford University.

Today, a remarkable discovery – Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady. The tape (there are two copies, actually, 131 and 132) is simply (and with no further information ) titled “Kerouac and Cassady, San Jose, 1952, William Burroughs“. (Burroughs, in fact, doesn’t appear on the tape (in those days ayahuasca-hunting in South America), but there’s some wonderful speculation on him)  … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 371 (Gay Pride)

[The original rainbow flag designed, in 1978, by Gilbert Baker]

Gay Pride in San Francisco and New York this weekend

 

Allen Ginsberg interviewed on Stonewall Nation, (WBFO-FM, SUNY, Buffalo), October 6, 1978, by Alex Van Oss and Al Hershberger (recording courtesy the incomparable PennSound)

AVO: You’ve been out as gay for so many years. Were you ever in the closet?

AG: I was, very much so, in Columbia, when I was going to school, at first, the first year. I was afraid somebody would find out, actually, and I never.. didn’t want to tip my mitt … Read More

Seymour Wyse

[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 Englandin 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

Musical Archetypes and Natural Rhythmic Measures

[Ravi Shankar (ninety-one years old!) plays Raag’s Bhiairvi (Bhiairvi Raga)]

Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 class in  Basic Poetics continues from here 

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

Barry Farber – 7 (interview concludes)

The Allen Ginsberg-Barry Farber radio transcription that we’ve been serializing continues and concludes today

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

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 361

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.

 &Read More

Isaac Watts and William Blake

[Isaac Watts ( 1674-1748)]  

[William Blake ( 1757-18270]

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?

Student:  Five

AG; Okay. Did anybody get to read that “Cradle Hymn“?  – third poem. Who likes to read..?

Student: What page?

AG: Four … Read More