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

WCW on WNET

Following on from last week’s WNET USA Poetry feature (on Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti), another episode from that series, this one on Allen’s great hero, William Carlos Williams.  William Eric Williams, the poet’s son, (something of a ringer for his father), is the stand-in (Williams having passed away a couple of years earlier).  He (the younger Williams.) is shown, at home. in his neighborhood, Rutherford, New Jersey, going about his daily routine and continuing with the family (pediatric) practice.

Flossie“, Williams’ widow (and William Eric’s mother), who didn’t die until 1976 – William Eric died in … Read More

Allen Ginsberg at County College, Morris, New Jersey, 1979

Continuing with our spotlight on the videotapes in the Stanford University Archives (we’re coming to the end of it). Today’s feature (like last week’s) is nuggets extracted from a broader swath. In 1987, Sander Zulauf made a selection (on two tapes) of readings that took place between 1976 and 1985 at CCM, the County College of Morris in Randolph, New Jersey – The First American Poetry Disc – An Introduction to Poetry, which featured over a dozen American poets, (most, if not all, of a decidedly academic bent – The undeniably stand-out reader/anomaly here was Allen (who, accompanied by … Read More

Allen Ginsberg – Ars Poetica – Dallas Texas 1980 – Joe Stanco Interview

Following on from last weekend, and complimentary to an earlier tape that we featured (from Richmond College, Dallas Texas), another video gem from the Stanford Archives – Ars Poetica – An Interview with Allen Ginsberg conducted by Joe Stanco

[The participants begin, caught in conversation, in media res]

JS: Oh. – My name is Joe Stanco and I’m talking today with Allen Ginsberg and, at the moment, we were discussing Ezra Pound who’s certainly..in fact you said, at one point, “the most important American poet since Whitman

AG: I guess. Yeah. Well… (Because ) he had more effect … Read More