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) .
from August 6 1981 at Naropa and Allen’s on-going Expansive Poetics (Russian Poetry) class
AG: (So, I’ll continue with Sergei Esenin) today and go on to Anna Akhmatova, and then, I think, leave Russian poetry and then go on to French Surrealists, and some Spanish.. In 1922, by Esenin [editorial note – 1921, actually]”I’m not crying, I’m not calling, I’m not complaining. Everything passes. White smoke from apple trees stricken by the golden dust of fading. I’ll no longer be young, it seems. So you shall no longer beat and tremble, my … Read More
AG: First thing we ought to do is get to some of his (Sergei Esenin‘s) texts, some of the poetry, before we get onto the gossip (which is kind of poetically interesting (too), I think)
– “Letter To His Mother”
He’d abandoned not only the village, he’d gone out to Moscow, and (Nikolay) Klyuev got really mad because he was wandering around now in delicate shoes and top hats and evening clothes, and looking like a dandy, and collecting clothes. Then he married Isadora Duncan and collected vast wardrobes in Paris and Berlin and … Read More
.. So, Esenin broke loose from (Nikolay) Klyuev, who was very demanding (sexually, I imagine, as well as morally). He didn’t want Esenin to be running around Russia as a big intelligent poet, handsome, on his own, making out with everybody else. So there is another poetic cafe that’s described in (Gordon) McVay’s biography of Esenin – (an interesting book – Esenin – A Life by Gordon McVay, also Ardis, Ann Arbor).
Student: Let me see the photographs. Can I see?
AG: Well, there’s lots of photographs of Esenin. I think you’ve seen some
AG: I think, first of all, to get now into (Sergei) Esenin, (we should) hear his voice. I played it last term. There’s a record I brought back from Prague, given to me by Esenin’s Czech translator in 1965. Could we hear that? The most powerful voice of all the Russians, I think, physically.
Не каждый умеет петь,
Не каждому дано яблоком
Падать к чужим ногам.
Сие есть самая великая исповедь,
Которой исповедуется хулиган.
Я нарочно иду нечёсаным,
С головой, как керосиновая лампа, на плечах.
Ваших душ безлиственную
AG: Well, I thought this time to cover somebody that we had mentioned before, which (is Sergei) Esenin, and to cover Esenin, we also have to cover a little bit of (Nikolay) Klyuev. Those of you who are in Peter (Orlovsky)’s class have heard a lot of Klyuev, but a lot of you haven’t been in that class. So I just want to touch on him. He was a friend of Esenin. [to Peter Orlovsky] – can you pick up on … Read More
Читающим наше Новое Первое Неожиданное.
Только мы — лицо нашего Времени. Рог времени трубит нами в словесном искусстве.
Прошлое тесно. Академия и Пушкин непонятнее гиероглифов. Бросить Пушкина,Достоевского, Толстого и проч. и проч. с парохода Современности.
Кто не забудет своей первой любви, не узнает последней.
Кто же, доверчивый, обратит последнюю Любовь к парфюмерному блудуБальмонта? В ней ли отражение мужественной души сегодняшнего дня? Кто же, трусливый, устрашится стащить бумажные латы с чёрного фрака воина Брюсова? Или на них зори неведомых красот?
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July 7, 1981, Allen Ginsberg’s class on Expansive Poetics continues
AG: We were on (Robert) Duncan (“A Poem Beginning with a Line by Pindar”), and actually I read up to Duncan’s introduction of(Walt) Whitman, and I want to leave it there. Actually, when I first read that poem it was that particular cadenza – “I always see the under side turning,/ fumes that injure the tender landscape. From which up break/ lilac blossoms of courage in daily act/ striving to meet a natural measure” – I guess, the part two, the “litany … Read More
Shifting same time (19th/early 20th century) to Moscow. Or.. of the same time, the equivalent group in Russia were the Futurists, who were maybe the earliest relatives, the earliest people who broke up a sense of consciousness, or a sense of a solid consciousness that the 19th century had. It was broken up a good deal in Rimbaud with the Alchemy of the Word and the long reasoned derangement of the senses, but by the time of 1905, it had become already artistic practice, and not just a great eccentric genius … Read More