Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s birthday today
– from Richard Holmes’ definitive biography:
” (William) Wordsworth called him “the most wonderful man” he had ever known; but many subsequent biographers have been skeptical. It would seem possible to write an entire book on Coleridge’s opium addiction, his plagiarisms, his fecklessness in marriage, his political “apostasy”, his sexual fantasies, or his radiations of mystic humbug.
And indeed, all these books have been written. But no biographer…has tried to examine his entire life in a broad and sympathetic manner, and to ask the one vital question; what … Read More
[Allen Ginsberg with (portrait of) Walt Whitman – Photograph by Misao Mizuno]
Mash-Ups – As we noted in an earlier post, “The ubiquitous Tom Waits-Allen Ginsberg mash-up, “Closing Time”/“America” has got to be one of the most-accessed Allen Ginsberg items on the web” (plenty of listeners still thinking, erroneously, that they must’ve recorded together – they didn’t) – We were pleased to receive originator, Ralph Beard’s wry comment (printed then – and now re-printed here), since it puts the piece in its (intriguing, allbeit antediluvian) context:
“Every now and then I do a search on this thing just … Read More
[Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) & Kurt Weill (1900-1950)]
“You gentlemen who think you have a mission/To purge us of the seven deadly sins/Should first sort out the basic food position/Then start your preaching, that’s where it begins/ You lot, who preach restraint and watch your waist as well/Should learn, for once, the way the world is run/However much you twist, or whatever lies that you tell/Food is the first … Read More
“When you hear sweet syncopation and the music softly moans/‘t ain’t no sin to take off your skin and dance around in your bones/When it gets too hot for comfort, and you can’t get an ice-cream cone/t’ain’t no sin to take off your skin and dance around in your bones/Just like those bamboo babies, down in the South Sea tropic zone/ t’aint no sin to take off your skin and dance around in your bones.”
William Burroughs, Robert Wilson and Tom Waits‘ … Read More
We featured this past July 4, Allen’s still-surprisingly-relevant 1956 poem, “America”. Here’s Moroccan poet & scholar, El Habib Louai‘s, Arabic translation. He is currently working to translate Allen’s complete collected poems into Arabic.