Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 330

Allen Ginsberg on tv, May 7 1968 on Firing Line With William Buckley

from the Letters column in last weekend’s New York Times Book Review

“Reading Ann Douglas’s review of Allen Ginsberg’s “The Best Minds of My Generation” (Aug. 6) reminded me of a chance meeting with Ginsberg in the early ’60s. After a performance of Genet’s “The Blacks” at a small theater in the East Village, I waited in front for my then-fiancée. Also standing there was Allen Ginsberg. I mentioned a poem by his father, Louis Ginsberg, that appeared in the textbook I used to teach … Read More

Objectivism at Michigan Poetry Conference , 1973

Our feature today – the extraordinary gathering on Objectivist poetics that took place in 1973 in Allendale Michigan and Allen’s participation in it. We are indebted to the labors (both with video and transcription) of Steel Wagstaff. His introduction to the occasion (on the poetry-site, Dispatches)  may be read here. Below is some transcription of Allen’s contribution (his engagement with Charles Reznikoff, Carl Rakosi, and George Oppen). For a complete transcript (provided by Wagstaff) – see here

[Seidman House, Grand Valley State College, Allendale, Michigan, 1973]

Charles Reznikoff: Oh I say., May I suggest, isn’t … Read More

“Only Objectfied Emotion Endures”


[cover of February 1931 issue of Poetry magazine (“Objectivists” issue) edited by Louis Zukofsky]

AG: [in media res] …(partly how it) turns out. We’ll find something. Something, We’ll do something. Maybe we’ll give them chocolate.. PO: No, it’s bad for your teeth. (Give them) carrots.

[tape/class begins with miscellaneous student announcements (students requested to hand in their “self-evaluation forms”)] 

“Only objectified emotion endures” (Louis Zukofsky)

AG:  I have one short explanation. I’ve used the word(s)  “objectified emotion”  – “Only objectified emotion ensures” – But, just to make sure that the word is not misunderstood. It doesn’t mean “objective, as – … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 53 (Revisiting Reznikoff – 3)

[Charles Reznikoff (1894-1976) – photograph courtesy New Directions]

AG: I do want to get back to (Charles) Reznikoff  because, okay, we had a little haiku, and then we had a little sharp fast transcription noticings. Fast transcription. (Guy) de Maupassant. I think de Maupassant got this turn-on from (Gustav) Flaubert. Flaubert told him that if a guy was jumping out the window, he should be able to write a verbal sketch of the way that he fell out of the window (and) the way his shirt was ballooning into the air before he hit the … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 52 (David Cope)


[David Cope, Ann Arbor, Michigan, February 1995 – photograph by Allen Ginsberg c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

AG: [Allen reads from the then freshly-published poetry-collection, The Stars by David Cope] – “Nada Press, Big Scream, 698 48th Street, South East, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49508 – The Stars by David Cope, copyright 1976. All rights reserved for the author. Acknowledgements – Some of these poems have appeared in Big Scream, Windows in the Stone, and in two previous collections – Neon Eyes and The Clouds – So this is, like, coming out of the sidewalks of… “Walking, driving, everything is business, … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 51 (Revisiting Reznikoff – 2)

[Charles Reznikoff, circa 1975, reading as part of the New York City “Poetry In the Parks” Program, courtesy the Archives of The Academy of American Poets]

AG: [surveying The Complete Poems of Charles Reznikoff] –  I’d like to read through a lot of these actually, because they’re so good. There are too many to read, because I (also) want to go from him to (William Carlos) Williams, and then from Williams, retrospectively, back to (William) Wordsworth, and see Wordsworth’s sharp focus of perception, if we have time.

“The shoemaker sat in the cellar’s dusk beside his … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 50 (Revisiting Reznikoff – 1)

[Charles Reznikoff  (1894-1976)]

  We continue with our transcription of Allen’s June 23 1976 Naropa class. He moves on from haiku (see here) to a discussion of one of his favorite ‘”close attention” poets, the Objectivist, Charles Reznikoff. We’ve featured Allen on Reznikoff extensively before (here, here, here and here), but (duplication notwithstanding) feel absolutely no compunction in featuring him again. 

AG: Well, that concentration of perception in Japan, or in that kind of meditative Oriental style, we have an equivalent of that in English, and so, fast, skipping through, a couple (sic) of Americans … Read More