Allen Ginsberg on Walt Whitman

The birthday today of Walt Whitman  (born West Hills, New York, May 31, 1819)

Here’s Allen’s appreciation of Whitman that first appeared in Sulfur 31, Fall 1992 (and was subsequently reprinted in Deliberate Prose (2000))

Whitman’s Influence – A Mountain Too Vast To Be Seen

Like Poe, Whitman’s breakthru from official conventional nationalist identity to personal self, to subject, subjectivity, to candor of person, sacredness of the unique eccentric  curious solitary personal consciousness changed written imaginative conception of the individual around the whole world, and … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 367

[Allen Ginsberg, photographed on the campus at Columbia University, 1968]

A nice little hat-tipping to Allen from Danny Goldberg, in an interview with Rob Couteau. in Rain Taxi, regarding his new book,  In Search of the Lost Chord – 1967 and the Hippie Idea

“My favorite poem by Allen is “Wichita Vortex Sutra.” That, to me, is his quintessential ’60s poem. It’s a fully mature commentary on what was happening in America at that time. I recently wrote a review of the Ken Burns documentary of the Vietnam War, and I said: “If you want to … Read More

Disillusion (1961’s Rhythmic Paradigm)

From Allen’s 1980 Basic Poetics lecture at Naropa

AG: “My ambition was to write a sort of Promethean twentieth-century poem, using all of the ancient meters that build up to some kind of  grand chorale.  And there’s a little sample of that in Journals Early Fifties, Early Sixties, a little thing called “Rhythmic Paradigm”, which goes on for half a page with a series of meters that are more complicated than the ones in “Kaddish” or “Howl” “

from “Rhythmic Paradigm  – National Anger” (1961)

Blasted be Congress and doom on the White House and cursed are the works of … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 365

[Allen Ginsberg, San Francisco, September 1991. Snapped by Rick Dickenson with Allen’s camera, courtesy Stanford University Libraries/Allen Ginsberg Estate.]

Bill Morgan, archivist, editor, and Allen’s biographer, is interviewed by host Charlie Rossiter on the latest episode of the podcast Poetry Spoken Here. He gets to speak of his most recent book, The Best Minds of My Generation – A Literary History of the Beats (based on transcriptions of Allen’s lectures both at Naropa and at Brooklyn College). In addition, Rossiter reviews Wait Till I’m Dead, Bill’s edition of Allen’s posthumous poems, now fresh out in paperback.

Speaking … Read More

Elazar Larry Freifeld Tel Aviv 1988 Interview

[Allen Ginsberg in Jerusalem, 1988, praying by the Western Wall.  Photograph by Steven Taylor]

Allen Ginsberg in Israel.

This interview with Elazar Larry Freifeld was conducted at Tel Aviv University in 1988, and published in Moznaim (in Hebrew). It appeared a year later (In English) in The Tel Aviv Review, and most recently in the Jerusalism Review.

LF: Welcome to Israel, Allen. You come at a very troublesome time [civil war in Lebanon].

AG: Ah, it’s the same all over the world. Everyone has their own tsurus [“trouble”, in Yiddish]. In Nicaragua, the CIA is fomenting trouble, in Columbia … Read More

Vojo Sindolic’s 1986 Belgrade Interview – part one

[Allen Ginsberg in Belgrade, 1986]

Vojo Sindolic‘s 1986 interview with Allen in Belgrade (in two parts – the second part will follow tomorrow) is our focus on The Allen Ginsberg Project this weekend.

Vojo’s translation of Cosmopolitan Greetings  (Kozmopolitski pozdravi ) has just appeared from Hrvatskoga društva pisaca  (h,d,p) (the Croatian Writers Society

Here, he introduces the interview:

“Allen Ginsberg and I were very close friends for twenty years from 1977 until his death in 1997. I felt and still feel deep love for his poetic insight, or as one may call it – it was literary … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 347

Looking forward and looking back, with the year’s first “Weekly Round-Up”, starting off with Allen Ginsberg – Fotografìa y Poetica Beat at the Photology Gallery in Garzon, Uruguay –  the first ever showing of Allen’s photographs in South America!  (this show is coming to a close, closing-date is next Tuesday, January 9).

And more photo news – Opening January 29, and up through 27 April, at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto ‘Fleeting Moments, Floating Worlds, and the Beat Generation – The Photography of Allen Ginsberg” 

“This exhibition”, the Library states, in its preliminary … Read More

A List of List Poems

AG:  But by this anaphoric rapture, or anaphoric repetition, it {Crashaw’s poem “The Flaming  Heart”] actually builds up to rapture. So this is what Anne Waldman calls a list poem”, actually, an early list poem. I taught a little poetry workshop this weekend and checked out list poems and the samples I used were (the) thirteenth and twenty-eighth chapters of Ecclesiastes (because there is “..or the golden bowl be broken”), and then I read Christopher Smart, I used “Like to the flaming of a star.”,  the little.. – I used that as a list
Read More

Gershom Scholem

[Gershom Scholem (1897-1982)]

Gershom Scholem,  from  On Jews and Judaism in Crisis – Selected Essays

“The poet Allen Ginsberg once visited me. A likeable fellow. Genuine. Strange, mad, but genuine. I took a strong liking to him.My wife and I had a very interesting conversation with him, and in her inimitable way she asked him. “Why don’t you come to live here?” (I never ask anyone this question. People know whether and when it is time to come; that’s basic. If people want to come then it’s possible to talk to them about it. But I don’t have it in … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 340

Our good friend John Suiter’s photo-essay on Jack Kerouac’s Lowell  is a must-read. He recently complimented it with this equally-inspiring photo-essay on Jack Kerouac’s Mexico.

Speaking of Kerouac, MA*GA  in Gallarate, Italy,  presents Kerouac Beat Painting, a show of over eighty original paintings and drawings, running December 3 April 22,   more details here.

[Jack Kerouac – untitled drawing (in colored crayon) of the Crucifixion]

See two more Kerouac images here.  And here for more on Kerouac as painter.

Walt Whitman’s Brooklyn home  (99 Ryerson Street), the place where he lived when he first published Leaves of Grass in 1855, … Read More