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
In this episode, a punk Jonathan Robbins appears to the consternation of Barry Farber, and Allen discusses, among other things, ecology (eco-consciousness) and the apparent difficulty (alleged impossibility) of translation.
BF: (The Beat Generation) ….was every feature-writer’s security blanket tranquillizer and pacifier. (I want to know, technically, how you attracted that much attention?)
AG: I think, mainly, it was we said what we really thought, rather than what we were supposed to think or what we thought would be, you know, palatable for the … Read More
BF: I’m Barry Farber, Peter Orlovsky is with us – I think that means “the son of the eagle”
AG: Right… Russian too.
BF: Allen Ginsberg, Jonathan Robbins, that’s the poetic part of the panel. The journalistic side, who can’t care if it rhymes or has soul just as long as it asks the desired questions, Robert Goodman, a new broadcast journalist and a good one, Bullets Durgin, just said goodbye, … Read More
[Allen Ginsberg, San Francisco, 1966. photo: Larry Keenan Jr. ]
Drawing this weekend from the remarkable Stanford archives. We begin with a tape from 1976, Allen and company in conversation with conservative talk-show host Barry Farber, a two-hour radio appearance (We’ll be featuring it in segments – In the first, today, the opening salvos, he has to defend himself against Farber’s avuncular but also barbed and somewhat patronizing knee-jerk anti-Communism)
Today, July 19, the great poet, Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky, was born in Baghdati, Georgia. We’ve featured Mayakovsky numerous times here on the Allen Ginsberg Project. For example, here and here.
The fourteen-part series, Allen’s 1981 focus (with in-class presentation by Ann Charters) begins here, and continues here, here and here (Expansive Poetry) .
Speaking of William Blake, hats off to antiquarian bookseller, John Windle (“Windle’s connection to Blake is more spiritual than commercial”). Allen would, more than once, call Windle, Windle remembers, if he “needed a Blake fix”.
The Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of The Beats As Taught by Allen Ginsberg is just out (this past Tuesday) from Penguin Books in England. Next Friday, Grove Press will publish the American edition. Interesting to compare the covers perhaps – the more sober UK edition, the more brash, more jazzy American? – Either way, it’s another essential Ginsberg book. Reviews are already highly positive:
Publisher’s Weekly – “A gold mine for anyone interested in beat literature . . . Ginsberg reads and thinks like a poet; interested in language and style, he abandons narrative to … Read More
AG: Now, by (Velimir) Khlebnikov, a poem called “Menagerie” [ “Zverinets“, also translated as “Zoo”], which would be 19.. let’s see, 1909. Russia (St. Petersburg, probably, among a group that were hanging around a coffee-shop called The Stray Dog Cafe, where Khlebnikov and his friends resided.
[Allen then proceeds to read Khlebnikov’s poem “Menagerie” in its entirety]
“Oh Garden, Zoological Garden! /Where the iron is like a father reminding brothers to be brothers and stopping their bloody grapple/Where the Germans drink their beer and girlies sell their bodies/Where the eagles sit like an eternity … Read More
So, last session I was reading aloud some of (Percy Bysshe) Shelley as precursor to the heroic and expansive breath that we’ll try to follow for twentieth-century poetry. And there are a few other poets of the nineteenth-century that are worth noting. There’s a lot of them actually but I’m zeroing in on he ones that had a big impact on my own nervous system, which is what it boils down to.
There’s a line of Antonin Artaud, the French Surrealist poet, who said that there are certain human sounds, certain sounds … Read More