Tichborne’s Elegy

Chidiock Tichborne (c.1562-1586)

AG: One thing we forgot was  Chidiock Tichborne‘s elegy (on page one-three-two). That has a really pretty tune. I overlooked it last time – (one-thirty-two of the Norton (anthology)). Written in his own hand, in the tower, before his execution. So, he only had a few.. like..  that day to live. So what did he have to say? – It’s really great and it’s on the same line as Sir Walter Raleigh’s “The Lie” (remember we did that.. “”Tell men of high condition,/That manage the estate,/Their purpose is ambition… give them all the lie.” – … Read More

“Nature That Washed Her Hands in Milk”

AG: [continuing with the poems of Sir Walter Raleigh] –  Then, there’s some pretty snow, snow stuff – snow and milk  – page 137. A couple of… that one stanza there, one or two stanzas ,that are on .. well some of the same theme [suffering and death]. The first line of “Nature, That Washed Her Hands In Milk” – that’s a real cute.. “Nature that washed her hands in milk”, that’s a real weird, sweet notion ((Jack) Kerouac wrote a lot of poems about man is existing in milk and living in lilies (sic). He … Read More

Walter Raleigh’s “The Lie”

   
The Buddha teaching The Four Noble Truths. Sanskrit Astasahsrika Prajnaparamita Sutra   manuscript, written in the Ranjana script,  Nalanda, Bihar, India, circa 700-1100 CE

AG: I’d like to go with  (Walter Raleigh‘s) “The Lie” because that gets into the heavy-metal suffering – The First Noble Truth – when people really are on the verge of death and seeing life as a maya, samsara, evidence of shadow, even in Elizabethan days. So it’s First Noble Truth. Second Noble Truth, suffering, transitoriness. However, the Third Noble Truth, un-atman – the Buddhist notion of un-atman (no soul, … Read More

“Even Such is Time” (Raleigh’s Execution)

The execution of Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) on 29 October, 1618, at Old Palace Yard, Westminster, London (Anonymous Eighteenth-Century English engraving)

AG: So, then.. Student: Why was (Walter) Raleigh executed? AG: I don’t know. Let’s see, He went.. did go to Virginia or something, and… politics.. [Students brief discussion]  – (Did he stay?) AG: No, no he went back to England…” The night before his execution” [“Even Such Is Time”], published in 1628:

Even such is Time, that takes in trust Our youth, our joys, our all we have, And pays us but with earth and … Read More

Marlowe & Raleigh (The Passionate Shepherd)

 

Abraham Bloemaert – Shepherd and Shepherdess (1627) oil on canvas – in the collection of Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum, Hannover (Germany)

AG: Does everybody here from high school remember (Christopher) Marlowe and (Walter) Raleigh‘s little complimentary poems, “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” and “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd“? Has everybody read those? – A few. Well, let’s get on to those.  [Editorial note – Earlier recordings of Allen reading those two poems can be found here] Do you want to read… Let’s start with the Marlowe. Rachel [sic], do you want to read that? … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 40 (Marlowe & Raleigh and Campion)

[Shepherd and Shepherdess Reposing – François Boucher, 1761]

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[ The tape begins in media res, Allen is reciting Christopher Marlowe’s “A Passionate Shepherd To His Love”]

AG: “…Fair lined skippers for the cold/ With buckles of the purest gold,/ A belt of straw and ivy buds,/ With coral clasps and amber studs;/ And if these pictures may thee move,/ Come live with me and be my love… ” –

And then Sir Walter Ralegh, about a year later registered a reply and answered (with) “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd” [Allen recites this poem, in its entirety … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics (Ballads) – 29

[Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586) via the National Portrait Gallery, London]

AG: So, anyway, the reason I got off into quantity was.. [back to Sir Walter Ralegh’s “The Lie” – Allen sings, to harmonium accompaniment, the first two stanzas of the poem – “Go Soul, the body’s guest,/ Upon a thankless errand/ Fear not to touch the best;/ The truth shall be thy warrant..”] – I guess you could do it that way, easy enough. It was something relevant to another conversation several days ago (about a poet) of this era, Sir Philip Sidney. Some students were asking if … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics (Ballads) – 27

[Walter Ralegh (1554-1618) aged 34 – portrait via National Portrait Gallery]

Allen’s Spontaneous Poetry (Ballads) lectures, given at the Naropa Institute, Boulder, Colorado, in July and August of 1976, continue. This particular section continues the June 16 class.

AG:  “The Lie” by Sir Walter Ralegh – Moving now from ballad to song, staying around the same time. We’re still before and after Shakespeare. There are a number of classical pieces of rhythm and imagery that those of you who are interested in poetry  just as beaming mind-eye movies should know. And those of you who are writing

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