Compositional Practice (Sustained Attention – 2)

Allen Ginsberg on compositional practice continues from here

Student: Ted (Berrigan) says you write poems when you’re on a retreat.

AG:  Sometimes. If I’m somewhere where I don’t have to do anything, then I tend to write. Like, I wrote a lot up in.. when I went up that week for the seminary I wrote a whole… about fourteen little poems. But that was because they had a poetry reading there, and so I wrote something to read. And I didn’t like the way.. their attitude there, so  I was trying to reflect on, straightforward, you know, fresh, perception, I’ll … Read More

WCW on WNET continued

USA Poetry – William Carlos Williams –  transcript continues  (see here)

[note –  on occasion some

from the Letters of William Carlos Williams

To Kay Boyle (1932)

“Dear Kay Boyle….. There is no workable poetic form extant among us today..Joyce and Stein have..gone out of their way to draw down the attention on words so that the line has become pulverous instead of metallic – or at least ductile…For myself I have written very little poetry recently. Form, the form has been lacking. Instead I have been watching speech in my own environment from which I continually expect … Read More

Kenneth Koch’s 1979 Naropa Class

                                                               [Kenneth Koch (1925-2002]Kenneth Koch last week – Here’s transcription of Kenneth’s (Summer Academy of Practicing Writers) May 26, 1979 Naropa class

KK: [on being confronted with a tape-recorder] –  Am I registering alright on the future? – ”nothing must be lost” – I don’t know when anybody’s going to find time to listen to all the things that are being recorded in the present. They’ll be wasting their … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 123 (Wallace Stevens)

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)

[Wallace Stevens ( 1879-1955)]

AG: Wallace Stevens is a great poet, but metrically not that interesting, I don’t think, philosophically interesting, so as a tiny little sample of Wallace Stevens, I just took one very late poem (from The Rock), when he was an old man – he was a friend of (William Carlos) Williams and he wrote the introduction to Williams’ first book…first Collected Poems  [Collected Poems, 1921-1931, published by the Objectivist Press in 1934]. –  called “Lebensweisheitspielerei”  – does anybody know German? – “Lebensweisheitspielerei”  Student: Life..Life…”Leben” is life and “Spiel” is play. AG: So “Weisheit” ? … Read More

Allen Ginsberg & Steven Taylor at Texas State 1996 – Q & A -1

Following on from our recent posting of Allen’s 1996 Texas State University reading, here’s a transcription of the Q & A that followed

Good morning. We have an hour I would ask you to speak clearly, there’s a lot of people in here (that’s what we like) and I want to thank Mr Ginsberg again for the wonderful show last night, it was amazing  AG: Considering that I was half-dead!  (but) I get inspired when I work with Steven (Taylor), who’s a good guitarist and a good scholar, (and) who came along  for the seminar You can’t hear … Read More

Wallace Stevens


[Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)]

Wallace Stevens born on this day.

From a question-and-answer session in 1996 at Texas State University (the full transcript is forthcoming)  Q: You talk about (William Carlos) Williams as well as (Walt) Whitman and even  (T.S.)Eliot  – did Wallace Stevens have any sort of influence on your poetry as well? AG: Well, my father was a teacher and a poet. And so I ran into all these influences very early, Stevens more than Williams when I was a kid, particularly “Downward to darkness, on extended wings” or “Complacencies of the peignoir..“, I’ve forgotten the … Read More

Expansive Poetics 42 – (Edward Carpenter 4)

File:Day, Fred Holland (1864-1933) - Edward Carpenter.jpg

[Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) – Photograph by Fred Holland Day]

AG: The other poem of (Edward) Carpenter‘s we might as well do, while we’re on Carpenter, is “The Secret of Time and Satan”. The reason I brought him up is he’s one of the children of (Walt) Whitman and one of the people who applied Whitman’s method of realistic all-inclusiveness, notation in present time, empathy in space, empathy and sympathy going out in space to make notions in present time. (It’s) a more philosophical poem based on theosophical ideas. It has Whitman’s basic impetus and … Read More