William Carlos Williams’ Birthday (92nd Street Y Reading)

[William Carlos Williams reading at the 92nd Street Y in New York, January 1954]

Today (September 17) is William Carlos Williams‘ birthday (born 1883, and died eighty years later in his hometown of Rutherford, New Jersey)

Poet William Carlos Williams opened the first season of the 92nd Street Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center in 1939 and returned to that venue in 1954.

Here is a transcript of that reading. Williams reads a number of poems and, mid-way through the reading, attempts to describe (unsuccessfully, he feels), his concept (arrived at in his later work) of the variable foot”Read More

Alice Notley on Allen Ginsberg – 4

[Allen Ginsberg observing a plaster model of the young Alice Notley, (part of an installation), modelled for the artist, George Segal]

Alice Notley talk on Allen Ginsberg and his exemplary internationalism continues and concludes today

Poem 6 is a song, “Industrial Waves,” that is to be sung (and I don’t know the tune) – “And I know Allen will follow me tound the world with his terrible singing voice” Ted (Berrigan) wrote, but it wasn’t that terrible at all.  “Freedom for Indonesia to murder half a million/ Freedom for South Africa to stabilize the Bullion/ Freedom … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 372

 

“In a climate of fear and hysteria..” – It’s always revealing and instructive to “get to see the files”. We featured a lengthy post on Allen’s FBI files some years back (courtesy the pioneering work of Shawn Musgrave and Muck Rock). Another tenacious investigator. S.P. Sullivan is to be commended for just recently uncovering William Carlos Williams’ files – “He was one of Jersey’s most famous poets. The FBI worried he was a Communist”.  Sullivan’s full report (just published, by Inside Jersey magazine, and on-line at NJ.Com) may be accessed  – here

[Allen Ginsberg in Uncle Sam … Read More

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

William Carlos Williams’ Sappho

We continue today with transcription from Allen’s May 29, 1980, Basic Poetics classes at Naropa.  We’ve almost come to the end of this series of transcriptions.  Following on from an examination of Christopher Smart and his “Jubilate Agno”, Allen examines William Carlos Williams‘ translation (in Paterson) of a fragment of Sappho.’

AG : …(there are several) funny things about Williams’ Sapphic – [Allen reads] –          “That man is peer of the gods who,/face to face, sits listening/to your sweet speech and lovely/laughter. It is this that rouses a tumult/in my breast/At mere sight of you/ my … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 359

[Carl Solomon at home in the Bronx, 1991 – Photo: Allen Ginsberg, courtesy Stanford University Libraries]

Today, Friday March 30th. is Howl dedicatee, Carl Solomon‘s birthday. For last year’s Carl Solomon posting (“Remembering Carl Solomon”) – see here)

It’s also the anniversary of Rimbaud‘s lover, the poet, Paul Verlaine‘s birthday.  (For a posting on Verlaine’s “Chanson d’Automne” – see here)

And, while we’re on the subject of anniversaries – Our dear friend Bob Creeley died on this date thirteen years ago. Much missed, thinking of you, Bob.

David S Will’s Beatdom continues to deliver challenging A.G. … 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

Eric Mottram (1924-1995)

 

Our focus today – Eric Mottram, (1924-1995), author of  (among many other titles)  the brief survey, Allen Ginsberg in the Sixties – a poet, critic and scholar, a central figure in the English/transatlantic connection, one of the earliest, most astute and most passionate, readers and observers and commentators on Allen’s work.

Mottram on Ginsberg, from a lecture, given  at Kings College London, circa 1970

“He [Allen]’s very conscious now of finding strategies for being very very private in public.”

He goes on:

“But if you are going to say, “okay, private life is primary, the body is primary, … 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