Allen Ginsberg’s Psalm

[“”Ah, but to have seen the Dove of still/Divinity..” – (Allen Ginsberg) – see above – painting by Jack Kerouac]

continuing from yesterday

AG: Okay, I’ll finish this (poem) [“Psalm”], it’s not that much, I’m going to read it through and we’ll have it “And I write shadow changes into bone/To say that still Word, the prophetic image/Beyond our present strength of flesh to bear./ Incarnate in the rain as in the sea./Watches out for us out of our eyes/What sweet dream to be some incorruptible/Divinity, corporeal without a name,/Suffering metamorphosis of flesh/  Holy are the Visions of the … Read More

Yeats and Pound

[W.B.Yeats (1865-1939)]

continuing from here 

AG: Then next..  However, one thing I would point out. You can get equally perfect lyric matter (just like this stuff in the seventeenth and sixteenth century) out of William Butler Yeats‘  poems, particularly his later poems, so he’s really worth studying, Because he’s the only twentieth-cenury poet I know who has an ear equal to Marvell or.. myself..or those guys, King, Shirley...rare. It was rare to find a poet who was writing in rhyme in the twentieth-century that’s really got a good ear. You’ve got a lot of dead dead … Read More

The Wisdom of the Crazy – Tom O’Bedlam

[”From the hag and hungry goblin/that into rags would rend ye/All the sprites that stands by the naked man/In the book of moons, defend ye..”]-  (image from Guillaume-Benjamin Duchenne de Boulogne – Mécanisme de la physionomie humaine) (1862),] 

AG (from 1980):  We’ve been going through these poems of such persons as the Tom o’ Bedlam anonymous lyric, Marlowe, Wyatt, Donne, Marvell, Herbert, Shakespeare, Milton   (and I’ve been recommending everybody to get the rhythm in their bones and learn the stylistics).

And so now I want to… I mentioned that when I was beginning to study … Read More

Herrick and Tom o’ Bedlam

“All the sprites that stands by the naked man/In the book of moons, defend ye” – Zodiac Man (illustration from a 1580 Almanac)]

AG: Then, I don’t know if you remember,.. there’s an interesting rhythm here, like the Tom o’ Bedlam” lyric that I read last year – “From the hag and hungry goblin/ that into rags would rend ye/ All the sprites that stands by the naked man/ In the book of moons, defend ye”, “That of your five sound senses/ You never be forsaken/ Nor wander from your selves with Tom/ Abroad to beg your bacon.” … Read More

W.B.Yeats’ Crazy Jane

AG: (George Herbert’s) “Love” next – “Love – 3” . I thought maybe, in some of his most amazing .. It’s a little bit like the famous “Crazy Jane” poem by William Butler Yeats?, you know? ( I think I recited it in the last class) – “I met the bishop on the road” – Does everybody know that? – Anybody not know “I met the Bishop on the road”.. ? –

{Allen reads the poem in its entirety]

I met the Bishop on the road And much said he and I. `Those breasts are flat and fallen now … Read More

From The Elizabethan Songbook (Breath & Air)

220px-narr_haustuer

 [ The Fool’s costume (the jester’s costume) – cap ‘n bells]

Student: Yeats wrote a poem called “The Cap and Bells

AG: Well (W.B.) Yeats did.. (that’s more) Irish..This is Cap and Bells too. I just (give you) that – but I wanted to get back into the breath into the open space. So it’s sort of insubstantial breath finally, So we can go back to Samuel Daniel. where we were,  on page one-hundred-and-ninety, can sort of get back into…

Peter Orlovsky: Which page?

Student: One-ninety

AG: Oh yes, before.. yes, one-ninety. Before we get there, … Read More

December 1st – William Blake’s Mental Traveller

mental

Manuscript of William Blake – The Mental Traveller

THE  MENTAL TRAVELLER

I travell’d thro’ a land of men, A land of men and women too; And heard and saw such dreadful things As cold earth-wanderers never knew.

For there the Babe is born in joy That was begotten in dire woe; Just as we reap in joy the fruit Which we in bitter tears did sow.

And if the Babe is born a boy He’s given to a Woman Old, Who nails him down upon a rock, Catches his shrieks in cups of gold.

She binds iron thorns around his … Read More

The Burning Babe & Intro to The Mental Traveler

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-8-42-06-am

[Holy Poet-martyr St Robert Southwell And The Burning Babe (detail), William Hart McNichols 2015]

AG: How many were not here last time?. Well, okay.. Gordon Ball’s here and wants to take some pictures so if you don’t mind flashing.. lightning-bolts.. .burning babes… The last time, we dealt with “The Burning Babe”Robert Southwell’s poem, (page) 186. I think I had assigned it so for those of you who haven’t read it, you can read it later, but the idea was that there was this weird image of a burning babe (how many were here then?), burning babe, … Read More

Reading Out-Loud – A Diversion 3

Allen continues his June 25 1981 disquisition on the performance and the reading out loud of poetry.

 AG: One problem is that some people have an idea of poetry which is mono-tonal. Like Richard (Poe),who (originally) asked the question, reads poetry in a monotonal (way), one tone – and a lot of people do, Somehow when you fall into reading poetry you just get into some kind of half-chant, half-croon, half poetical-sounding trance voice (which is not exactly a trance voice but just a conventional voice for poetry) and you get stuck there. One reason people do that is … Read More

Allen Ginsberg on John Wieners – part one

 

[Michael McClure, Philip Lamantia, John Wieners, and David Meltzer in North Beach, San Francisco, 1958 – Photograph by Gui de Angulo (included in “Literary San Francisco – A Pictorial History from its Beginnings to the Present Day” (edited by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Nancy J Peters), 1980]

Today, from 1982 and Allen’s “Literary History of the Beat Generation” Naropa class, Allen on John Wieners (tho’ he begins with a somewhat lengthy background-setting, Frank O’Hara, the Cedar Bar, Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Yugen.. Given the length of this piece, we’ve decided to (somewhat arbitrarily) split in … Read More