[Allen Ginsberg at Capel-y-Ffin (“Wales Visitation”), 1967 – Photo: Tom Maschler]
“…rubber booted in soft grass, mind moveless, /breath trembles in white daisies by the roadside, Heaven breath and my own symmetric/ Airs wavering thru antlered green fern
drawn in my navel,/ same breath as breathes thru Capel-Y-Ffin..” (from “Wales Visitation”)
Eco-watch – They’re thinking of putting a telecommunications mast in one of the most beautiful parts of the Llanthony Valley. Read more about the resistance here
AN: The second poem selected by chance (I am opening the book randomly, plonk, trying to be vaguely chronological is “Going to Chicago” – dated August 24, 1968, so this is on the way to the famous Republican convention in Chicago nominating (Richard) Nixon [editorial note – the 1968 Republican Convention was at Miami Beach; the Democratic Convention in Chicago took place a few weeks later] and characterized by violence on all sides, street … Read More
[Ed & Miriam Sanders – Woodstock, NY, April 1993 – photo: Allen Ginsberg]
Today Friday August 17, Ed Sanders‘ 79th birthday. Is there anyone more maverick, indefatigable? – ““Noli in spiritu combueri” – Salute! – Refuse to be burnt out!”
Ed’s been featured many times here on The Allen Ginsberg Project – see, for example, the two birthday postings here and here, our note on his voluminous archive – here, his notes on Allen here and here, a 1986 Naropa reading – here, a class on “Investigative Poetry” here and here, WNET footage of the ‘Sixties … Read More
“What better image of.. institutionalized complacency could be imagined than the assigning of Ginsberg’s verse to the nation’s future military elite, who – far from being scandalized by lines like “Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb” (from “America,” perhaps Ginsberg’s finest poem)- approach the reading with the dutiful ennui of students everywhere. Howl, like Ulysses and Lolita, has become homework.
But the poem, Robbins notes, “still razzle-dazzles today, this run-on prophetic mode of drug culture and madness, Whitmanian catalogue tuned to Blake-inflected beatific visionary blab with … Read More
AG: “That the Poetic Genius is the true Man. and that the body or outward form of Man is dervied from the Poetic Genius” (William Blake) – “…it’s just a very simple point that he’s saying, (which) is that anything, any life lived, is lived according to the interpretation of the guy who’s living. In that sense, “Poetic Genius”. In that sense, poetic. Poesis is making. Actually “poet” means “maker”, interestingly enough. The root, etymologically, of “poetry” is “making”. So, it’s like the universe is what we make up. So … Read More
AG: So what does he (Blake) mean by “Poetic Genius”? We have it in “There Is No Natural Religion”, (on) page three. That’s his first illuminated work, illuminated printing. You’ve seen it if you have this book (Erdman’s The Illuminated Blake). Are these all out also? Phil?
Student (Phil): Yes.
AG: Everything. Has anybody got any of these? [Allen asks for a show of hands] Just one? How many have this one? Good God!. There are … Read More
[William Blake by Luigi Schiavonett – published by Robert Hartley Cromek, after the Thomas Phillips etching (1807-8)]
AG: So, “(G)enius finds thought without seek(ing).” Blake is on that edge of mind, also. “(G)enius finds thought without seek(ing) & thought thus produced finds sense.” “Oh, I did it! Is that what I meant?” or, “I did it – how much sense it makes!.” Like “I got married and, boy, forty years later, that was a good idea.” – Thought does produce fine sense. Action thus produced finds sense.
AG: “O that men would seek immortal moments” – that’s on number … Read More
AG: (“Sense seeks and finds the thought” (William Blake) ) So “genius finds thought without seeking & thought thus produced finds the sense.” Is that clear? Is that clear? I mean, does anybody not understand that reversal? Because the sort of squarer, more rationalistic or literalistic thought is that you’ve got to know what you say before you say it. So, as Robert Duncan says, “How do I know what I mean until I say it?” Or how do any of us know what we think until we say it? And actually the whole poetic process shares that. … Read More
AG: Now, (William) Blake had books and did a lot of reading, and he was reading the books of his day, including a book called theAphorisms on Man translated by (Henry) Fuseli a friend of his, from the original manuscript of the Reverend Johann Kaspar Lavater, citizen of Zurich, London, printed for J. Johnson St. Pauls Churchyard, 1788. So Blake had a pre-publication copy of the proofs of this book and he went over it and he made little notes in the margins (of) what he had to say. And this was done in 1788, probably. So I’ve … Read More
Our transcriptions of Allen’s 1979 William Blake classes continue. Today, at the opening of his January 15th class, more general comments and preliminaries. Allen sketches a brief plan of some of the ground he hopes to cover and returns (once again) to the availability of books. The class proper will begin tomorrow.