Expansive Poetics – 4 (Shelley’s “Hymn To Intellectual Beauty”)

[Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)]  

AG: The other precursor, to get ahead in time to the 19th Century is (Percy Bysshe) Shelley, who, I guess, is more or less familiar to most of you. How many of you have read any Shelley? [Students give a show of hands] – Okay – And how many have read Shelley’s “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” here? [Students show of hands less than the first time]. So I thought there are (at least) three pieces by Shelley that will illustrate the phrase.. (or, rather)… illustrate the word – “inspired” – “Inspiration” (that was one of … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics 116 – (Wordsworth – 2)


[Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825)]

AG: [Wordsworth] – I want to move away from his great poetry and get into what is sometimes considered to be his bad poetry.  As a transition piece – a poem he wrote on the French Revolution. It was composed in 1804. He was already a little bit disillusioned. In a way, I was thinking of these poems in relation to our own national supposed disillusionment with the ‘Sixties [Allen is speaking in America in 1976 here] and I’m giving Wordsworth now as a little sample of what kind of … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 48 ( Shelley and Hart Crane 2)

June 23, 1976, (Naropa Institute), a new class. Allen picks up from the previous class, with a discussion on Hart Crane and Shelley and a poetry that might be life-affirming and “speakable”.

AG: I guess I’ll begin. There’s going to be a poetry reading tonight – John Ashbery and Dick Gallup. That’ll be after this class. And tomorrow night, there’s going to be (a) (Chogyam) Trungpa discourse – “Sutra” (which will be open, free, to all members of the student body). So if anybody hasn’t picked up on Trungpa’s taste or vibration, tomorrow night everybody’s invited. It’s … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 47 (Shelley and Hart Crane 1)

[Joseph Severn (1793- 1879) Posthumous Portrait of Shelley Writing Prometheus UnBound (1845), oil on canvas, Keats-Shelley Memorial House, Rome, Italy]

AG: We were onto the subject of time and breath and (now) I want to skip a couple of centuries and shift to (Percy Bysshe) Shelley, to hear another kind of breath. (Also, I should say, as far as I know, I will be staying here until the end of the session. I won’t be here in the second session, (or I certainly won’t be teaching in the second session, because I’ll be called home. My father isn’t … Read More

For Homer – (Gregory Corso)

Twelve years to the day since Gregory Corso passed away. We celebrate his autochthnic spirit!

This footage (above) of Corso, reciting his poem “For Homer”, with music by Nicholas Tremulis and featuring footage of Corso, Tremulis, and poet, Ira Cohen, dates from 1993.

and here’s a photo of  Gregory’s grave-site in Rome (buried close to his beloved Shelley)