AG: “O life of this our spring! why fades the lotus of the water?/ Why fade these children of the spring? born but to smile & fall./ Ah! Thel is like a watry bow. and like a parting cloud./ Like a reflection in a glass. like shadows in the water – (this like “Sic Vita” (by Henry King) – remember? – like “..bubbles which on water stood” – it’s the same thing, (and, for those of you who are Buddhists, it’s the same thing you find in Gampopa .. … Read More
AG: Well, there is a little girl who didn’t want to get born because she was afraid of the emptiness in the grave and she didn’t want to enter the emptiness of the grave so she prefered to stay in the Garden of Eden and not come out of the Garden of Eden and not have the experience of Life because if she came out and got born she knew she’d have to die and. So she was thinking of.. thinking about the problem, and she went to see.. … Read More
Last week, we featured transcription from a tape in the Stanford University Archives that featured an interview with Jack Kerouac’s childhood friend (and Allen’s friend) jazz aficiando, Seymour Wyse. This week, from the same tape, the conversation is followed by an interview with an earnest young English student (presumably an undergraduate at Leicester University, prior to the reading Allen gave there with Steven Taylor and Peter Orlovsky in the Fall of 1982 – at one point in the transcript, Allen breathlessly itemizes his itinerary)
Interviewer (Student): Do you make recordings of all your work?
AG: Then, the next thing I wanted to pick up is the relation of… passing on.. to Isaac Watts (or back to Isaac Watts, you realize the last week , we’ve taken a long loop from Isaac Watts and are back to Isaac Watts now – second poem of Isaac Watts (in that anthology) is…. what page is that? ..
Student: Four forty-five
AG: Four forty-nine?
AG; Okay. Did anybody get to read that “Cradle Hymn“? – third poem. Who likes to read..?
[ Portrait of John Milton – (circa 1803) – by William Blake]
Allen Ginsberg’s 1980 Basic Poetics class (at Naropa) – continuing from here
AG: So, the next experiment I did (was) with Miltonics – Milton. This is my Miltonics. It was pretty sick Miltonics. Because what it is, is a total – 1949 -it’s a.. I think I was either coming or.. going to-and-fro from.. Bedlam – New York State Psychiatric Institute, and I was convinced that there was a supernatural consciousness that I had to achieve and I was not achieving it, and that I wouldn’t achieve … Read More
[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
AG: Now, next we get to (Abraham) Cowley , below, (page) three-sixty, And the reason Cowley gets interesting is , finally, for the first time, the horrific City. enters in (as it will get increasingly, prophetically, apparent entering into the poetry.. (William) Blake will, pretty soon, (be) talking about.the opening (of the) streets of London and the “satanic mills”, and it’ll go on to the twentieth-century with “Moloch whose cities are…” ” filled up with plutonian factories drizzling in the toilet!”) – So here in “The Wish”, the vision the horror in the city,
“The membrane between poetry and“song,” as we think of it in 2017, has always been flimsy and permeable; once all poems were songs. Ginsberg’s weird, wobbly singing [in “The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience” CD] is sometimes dissonant, but it gets at something essential to Blake’s work. It’s as good a narration of the phases of a life as I can think of..”
Might we recommend, as a holiday gift, this holiday…?
The re-release of Allen’s William Blake … Read More