Poetry

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Normal.dotm 0 0 1 561 3200 University Health Network 26 6 3929 12.0 0 false 18 pt 18 pt 0 0 false false false /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"...
Normal.dotm 0 0 1 561 3200 University Health Network 26 6 3929 12.0 0 false 18 pt 18 pt 0 0 false false false /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} [W.B.Yeats in 1935 - Photographed by Lady Ottoline Morrell - Copyright The National Portrait Gallery, London]AG: There was one four-line piece in the middle of “Nineteen Hundred And Nineteen”, which I always liked. It typified the intellect at Columbia University when I was there. – “We, who seven years ago/Talked of honor and truth,/Shriek with pleasure if we show/The weasels’ twist, the weasel’s tooth”. (And) did we do “The Friends of His Youth” – “Laughter not time destroyed my voice..”Philip Whalen: No, where is that?AG: Want to try that? It’s (page) 221, it’s a little earlier.. Or do you have anything special in mind?PW: (Not really)AG: Do you know that one? Let me do it then. “The Friends of His Youth”. Do you know it?PW: I remember yeah?AG: Do you want to do that onePW: Well, I don’t care – [PW reads Yeats’ “The Friends of His Youth”] – “Laughter not time destroyed my voice/And put that crack in it/And when the moon’s pot-bellied/I get a laughing fit”….”And then I laugh till tears run down/And the heart thumps at my side/ Remembering that her shriek was love/And that he shrieks from pride”Student: What poem is that now?PW: Well, that’s out of the…AG: That’s number seven..PW: ”A Man Young and Old”. It’s number seven in that series…AG: There’s a nice one.. another nice sexy one there, “ The Secrets of the Old” (it takes one to know one!) – [Allen reads Yeats’ “The Secrets of the Old” in its entirety] – “I have old women’s secrets now/That had those of the young…”..”How such a man pleased women most/Of all that are gone/How such a pair loved many years/And such a pair but one/Stories of the bed of straw/Or the bed of down”.PW: I always liked these short bits in the “Supernatural Songs”, also – “There” (for example), number four – [PW reads from Yeats’ “Supernatural Songs”] – “There all the barrel-hoops are knit/There all the serpent tails are bit/There all the gyres converge in one/There all the planets drop in the Sun”AG: There’s a similar one, “The Choice”PW: And then he has the Nero.. Oh yes, The Choice” is very nice – and “Mohini Chatterjee”AG: “The intellect of man is forced to choose/Perfection of the life, or of the work,/And if take the second must refuse/A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark./When all the story’s finished what’s the news?/In luck or out the toil has left its mark:/That old perplexity an empty purse,/Or the day’s vanity, the night’s remorse.”Student: What poem is that?AG: That’s “The Choice”. PW: Yeah, (and then there’s) “Those Images” – “What if I bade you leave/The cavern of the mind?/There’s better exercise/ in the sunlight and wind”…”Find in the middle air/ An eagle on the wing/recognize the fire/That makes the Muses sing” AG: There’s “The Municipal Gallery..”PW: Yeah, well, that’s just a list of names mostly. [PW begins reading Yeats’ “The Municipal Gallery Revisited”] - “Around me the images of thirty years” (he’s in the Municipal Gallery in Dublin, looking at pictures of his friends, by his friends, and so on. [PW reads “The Municipal Gallery” in its entirety] – “Around me the images of thirty years:/An ambush, pilgrims at the water-side;/Casement, upon trial, half-hidden by the bars,/
about 3 hours ago
[W.B.Yeats, 1933 - Photographed by Pirie Macdonald] Philip Whalen: Here’s the one you were looking for.AG: There’s a moment of mental balance, where all his karmic understanding came to rest – having seen the death of early man-friends, ...
[W.B.Yeats, 1933 - Photographed by Pirie Macdonald] Philip Whalen: Here’s the one you were looking for.AG: There’s a moment of mental balance, where all his karmic understanding came to rest – having seen the death of early man-friends, or maddened, maddened to death, or outraged and suffering the results of their own outrage, (as well as) his own survival, he began work on a greater system of thought, which would include a phrase which he favored, “unity of being”, which I always took, when I was twenty, to be the acme of poetic ambition, to achieve “unity of being”In “Gratitude to the Unknown Instructors” – at this time. he was also hearing.. he had been dealing with, what? séance materials? (his wife, at night, was hearing voices, which he took down, to piece together, over decades, (into) a long epic prose-poetry work called A Vision – A Vision. Has anybody here ever seen that? A Vision by William Butler Yeats? That’s much worth reading. If you can’t get into the whole thing, just read the first pages – the “Preface" – it’s a description of his method, his time, his thoughts at that point in relation to Ezra Pound,(and a) description of Pound’s Cantos. The “Preface” to ”A Vision”. So then you’ll maybe get into it after you look into “the Preface” PW: Or if you get interested in some of these complicated poemsAG: But anyway.. [Allen begins reading Yeats’ “Gratitude to the Unknown Instructors”] – “What they undertook to do/They brought to pass/All things hang like a drop of dew/Upon a blade of grass.” [to PW] – I wonder if they know “The Tower”?Student: What year was that?AG: 1931PW: or so.AG: Do folks here know “The Tower”? How many have read much Yeats before? – Yeah – And how many have read “The Tower”? – “What shall I do with this heart, this troubled… What shall I do with this absurdity, oh heart, oh troubled heart” – Is that too much to go through, do you think?PW: I don’t know. Try it and seeAG: Its…heavyPW: How many pages is it?AG: It’s a long one. That’s the one that ends, you know..PW: Go ahead. I don’t know.AG: Okay, well, he’s middle-aged too, remember. "Half-dead at the top", as he says ["In mockery I have set/A powerful emblem up/And sing it rhyme upon rhyme/In mockery of a time/Half dead at the top" - the lines are from "Blood and the Moon"] I guess, the circumstances (are) that it’s written in retirement in the country, and maybe at the tower at one of Lady Gregory’s estatesPW: Yeah, she gave him the house after he got married, gave him this little house called “Thoor Ballylee” , where he and his wife lived. They had to re-fit it and what-not, but it had an old tower there, that he used for a study.[Thoor Ballylee]AG: Yeah. He married late. So when he was fifty? or forty-five?PW: He was forty-nine or fifty (when) he married..AG: My age!PW: ..Georgie Shakespear, who, as it turns out, was.. let’s see, how did that work? how did that go on?.. Georgie.. it wasn’t Georgie, Georgie somebody-else, Georgie something.. Georgie Hyde-Lees, that’s right. Georgie was related to someone who was related to that woman Dorothy Shakespear’s mother, who was Ezra Pound’s mother-in-law, and they’re all curiously inter-related[Georgie Hyde-Lees and W.B.Yeats]AG: Jean-Jacques Lebel, Robert Lebel’s son, is my French translatorPW: And then (there's) Pound’s illegitimate daughter, the present Countess What’s-her-name?AG: Rachewiltz (Mary de Rachewiltz) PW: Who was her mother? Her mother was..AG: Olga RudgePW: Oh, that’s right. Right . So it all works out. Everybody’s all related to everybody else. It’s wonderful!Student: Who’s Olga Rudge related to?PW: Her violin, I believe!AG: (so, back to) “The Tower” – So he’s married, settled, middle-aged, beginning to face the decay of his body, looking back on the dead friends of his youth, his own “best minds" destroyed, retired from politics, more deeply into examination of his own consciousness and imagination than he had been when, as a young man, he simply followed sort of pre
1 day ago
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Normal.dotm 0 0 1 861 4908 University Health Network 40 9 6027 12.0 0 false 18 pt 18 pt 0 0 false false false /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} [W.B.Yeats- Photographed by Edward Steichen for Conde Nast 1932]Ginsberg and Whalen on Yeats continues. Philip choses the next poemPW: I like this one (“The Hawk”). To double-back a minute.. [PW reads Yeats’ ”The Hawk”] – “Call down the hawk from the air/Let him be hooded or caged/Till the yellow eye has gone mild..”…”What tumbling cloud did you cleave,/Yellow-eyed hawk of the mind,/Last evening? That I, who had sat/Dumbfounded before a knave,/Should give to my friend/A pretence of wit” AG: He had a funny kind of self-rue, self-regret, self-criticism…PW: YeahAG: ...cutting into his own vanity, as he sees life cutting into his own ambitionPW: But then, he keeps having these breakthroughs. In “Vacillation”, that you were talking about a while ago, it says (in) Part one - “Between extremities/Man runs his course,/A brand or flaming breath./Comes to destroy/All those antimonies/of day and night/The body calls it death/The heart remorse./But if these be right/What is joy?” [and, two] “A tree there that from is topmost bough/is half all glittering flame and half all green/Abounding foliage moistened with the dew,/and half is half and yet is all the scene,/And half and half consume what they renew/And he that Attis’ image hangs between/That staring fury and the blind lush leaf/ May know not what he knows, but knows not grief” – Now, of course, that’s based on an image out of the Mabinogion of the tree that’s half burning and half green, I think. If it isn’t out of the Mabinogian, it’s out of the Gawain cycle some place.. Diane Di Prima: I don’t think it’s the MabinogionPW: Then it’s in the Morte d’Arthur, (Sir Thomas) Malory’s Morte d’Arthur. [PW continues reading from Yeats’ “Vacillation” – part three – “Get all the gold and silver that you can…” and part four – “My fiftieth year had come and gone./I sat, a solitary man./In a crowded London shop/ An open book and empty cup /On the marble table-top/ While on the shop and street I gazed/My body of a sudden blazed/And twenty minutes more or less/It seemed so great my happiness/That was I blessed and could bless”AG: I love that marble table-top! He really got it, right there. He has this extraordinary experience, but he’s got “An open book and empty cup /On the marble table-top”, “(I)n a crowded London shop”, (and) “While on the shop and street I gazed”. It’s, like, a classic. I don’t think anyone’s done better in recording a moment of exaltation – at a marble table-top!PW: Not since is master, namely Mr Blake, who he steals most of this stuff fromAG: Except Blake never had it as homely as thatPW: Sometimes he didAG: “An open book and empty cup”?PW: What is that thing about, "Come beauty.." “That lightly trip on beauty’s toe/ or sit on beauty’s bum” (in (Blake's) “An Island in the Moon”), which is pretty funny.[William Blake - a page from the only known mamuscript of An Island in the Moon] [PW continues his reading from “Vacillation” ] – so the fifth part is – “ Although the summer sunlight gild/Cloudy leafage of the sky/Or wintry moonlight sink the field/In storm-scattered intricacy,/I cannot look thereon,/Responsibility do weighs me down..”…”..and not a day/But something is recal
2 days ago
Gregory Corso reads the Bill of Rights? - That's right. Footage here from Jerry Poynton and James Rasin of Gregory, in April of 1992, atop a New York City rooftop (Roger & Irvyne Richards' old building, and Gregory's old hang-out, on Hor...
Gregory Corso reads the Bill of Rights? - That's right. Footage here from Jerry Poynton and James Rasin of Gregory, in April of 1992, atop a New York City rooftop (Roger & Irvyne Richards' old building, and Gregory's old hang-out, on Horatio Street, over in the West Village). Gregory is filmed reading from/commenting on/annotating - in his own inimitable style (sic!) - several choice selections from the (US) Constitution and the Bill of Rights - the Amendments! - "the Amendments, they're the big ball-game". (Thomas) Jefferson? - "If he'd been in England at that time, he would have been a poet...but because he was in America, he was a politician - they didn't have any poets then - but they had goody-gumdrops, like Tom Paine, Sam Adams, (Alexander) Hamilton - good people" - Gregory's conclusion? - "It ain't bad, America, but, still, there's something wr0ng". Planes fly by and distract him - twice! - "It's the fuckin' police!" - "The skies are filled wih seagulls and air-planes". The footage was edited by Francois Bernardi, whose Corso and Huncke footage (including subsequently-released out-takes) is available for your perusal here.
3 days ago
Beat scholarship - Pedro Casusol Tapias' "Visiones Divinas (Divine Visions) - Allen Ginsberg’s Peruvian Trip", an illuminating account of a key episode in Allen's early (post Howl) biography, his journey to Peru, in the Spring of 1960,...
Beat scholarship - Pedro Casusol Tapias' "Visiones Divinas (Divine Visions) - Allen Ginsberg’s Peruvian Trip", an illuminating account of a key episode in Allen's early (post Howl) biography, his journey to Peru, in the Spring of 1960, may be read here (in bilingual form) on the European Beat Studies Network (Rebecca L Thompson provides an English translation) - "como la sociedad no puede tocar con sus sucias manis mi alma, no hay peligro de que la aniquile" - "Since society is not able to touch my soul with its dirty hands, there is no danger of its annihilation".From the same 1960 interview - Allen: "...No existe poesía política. La poesía surge del alma, y la política nunca alcanza allí. La poesía no puede usarse como propaganda. Aún cuando sale de lo hondo, como en Neruda es siempre una especie de hipocresía, una variedad de egoísmo, que pretende imponer una regla determinada a los demás. [Martin Adan (1908-1985) - dedicatee & subject of Allen's poem "To An Old Poet in Peru"] "...Political poetry does not exist. Poetry comes from the soul, and politics can never reach there. Poetry cannot be used as propaganda. Even when it comes from a profound place, like in (Pablo) Neruda, it is always a sort of hypocrisy, a variety of selfishness that tries to impose a determined rule on others."[Raquel Jodorowsky (1927-2011)] An interesting revelation is the recollections of poet Raquel Jodorowsky (sister of the film-maker Alejandro Jodorowsky): A sus 84 años, Raquel recordaba: “Una vez me pidió que tuviera un hijo con él”. En un principio pensó que le estaba gastando una broma, pero el beatnik se lo volvió a proponer cuando cruzaban la Plaza San Martín. “En serio, quiero tener un hijo contigo”, le insistió mientras la tomaba del brazo.– Me sorprendí tanto que ni contesté –solía contar la anciana poeta. En la oda que le dedicara a Allen Ginsberg, publicada en el volumen Caramelo de sal, Jodorowsky le recrimina: “te metiste en mi vida de días detenidos / removiendo los cerebros de mis gusanos”, para después afirmar que un hijo suyo: “Hubiera nacido con alma”.At eighty four years of age, Jodorowsky recalled, ‘once he asked me to have a child with him.’ At the beginning she thought he was joking with her, but the beatnik proposed the idea again as they crossed through the San Martín Plaza. ‘Seriously, I want to have a child with you,’ he insisted as he took her by the arm.‘I was so surprised that I didn’t respond,’ the elderly poet recounted. In the ode she dedicated to Ginsberg, published in the collection Caramelo de sal, Jodorowsky reproaches him, ‘You put yourself in my life for days that stood still / stirring the brains of my worms,’ but later affirms that a son of theirs ‘would have been born with a soul.’An interesting, well-researched document. Read the whole text here.
4 days ago
Joep Bremmers' "Ik en mijn plasje - Allen Ginsberg in Vlissingen" ("Me and my peepee"), his study of Allen's January 1, 1983, visit to the Dutch town of Vlissingen (and the occasion of the poem "What The Sea Throws Up At Vlissingen" (inc...
Joep Bremmers' "Ik en mijn plasje - Allen Ginsberg in Vlissingen" ("Me and my peepee"), his study of Allen's January 1, 1983, visit to the Dutch town of Vlissingen (and the occasion of the poem "What The Sea Throws Up At Vlissingen" (included in White Shroud - Poems 1980-1985)), will be celebrated tomorrow in Vlissingen with a gala event, featuring, among others, Eddie Woods, Bremmers himself - and The Mondriaan String Quartet, who will perform, not only "September on Jessore Road" as they originally recorded it (Bremmers in his book discusses that recording), but also, several other poems, which will have been set to music especially for the event. The evening will conclude with a reading of Simon Vinkenoog's masterly translation of Howl (the pilgrimage by Vinkenoog and Allen to Charleville, the birthplace of Arthur Rimbaud, made in December of 1982, is also featured prominently in the book).Our posting (with some of Allen's Charleville notebooks) can be found here.The Mondriaan String Quartet's Version of "September on Jessore Road" may be heard here. More Carolyn Cassady obituaries (see last week) - Here's Sam Whiting's in the San Francisco Chronicle.The Timothy Leary papers? - Greg Miller reports for Wired.[Philip Lamantia 1927-2005]Andrew Joron and Garrett Caples recent presentation of The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia at Counterpath (in Denver, Colorado) was happily recorded (including rare and inspiring audio of the man himself) and may be listened to here.Caples also writes on, and quotes from, Lamantia hereand (naturally), here's your weekly KYD hit - getting closer to the opening date - Daniel Radcliffe's been (isn't he always?) getting around. Here he is, wittily and sympathetically interviewed by Steven Colbert on the Emmy-winning Colbert Report- and don't miss this exhaustive profile coming up this Sunday in Sunday's New York Timesfrom TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) and not previously spotlighted - interviews with director and cast - here, here here, and also here.and E Online has a new exclusive movie-clip - here. [Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997]
5 days ago
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Normal.dotm 0 0 1 638 3639 University Health Network 30 7 4468 12.0 0 false 18 pt 18 pt 0 0 false false false /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} [W.B.Yeats in 1924 - Photographed by Lady Ottoline Morrell - Copyright The National Portrait Gallery, London] AG (to Philip Whalen): Do you want to do anything about this one, “In Memory of Major Robert Gregory”.That’s all about his friends and he wants to…PW: Yeah, go ahead.AG: Well, continuing this theme – both of friendship and the death of (a) friend - (which, for me, was a major influence in “Howl”). Actually, oddly enough, despite the disparity of forms, (this is) another phase of, say, withdrawal from worldly business, retirement from the world, and (withdrawal) to a somewhat aristocratic hermit-(like)… [tape ends here, then resumes (in media res)] …and the political independence struggle in Ireland, heroes (dead, or worn down)..”In Memory of Major Robert Gregory” is a long, sort of very formal set of twelve stanzas, similar in structure to a series of poems he wrote later on (like “Among School Children”) – [Allen reads “In Memory of Major Robert Gregory” in its entirety] – “Now that we’re almost settled in our house/I’ll name the friends who cannot sup with us…”…”I had thought seeing how bitter is that wind/That shakes the shutter, to have brought to mind/All those that manhood tried, or childhood loved./Or boyish intellect approved,/With some appropriate commentary on each./Until imagination brought/A fitter welcome, but a thought/Of that late death took all my heart for speech” - That’s really full of feeling, and full of interesting detail. I don’t know if you see the relationship, (but) I took that somewhat as a model for, say, rhapsodies in praise of dead, dying, or maddened, friends in “Howl, and in a lot of poems, like “To Frank O’Hara” (“City Midnight Junk Strains”) – Yes?Student: There’s Yeats’ famous poem, “Vacillation..AG: “Man runs his course between extremities”, or something (Between extremities/Man runs his course..”)PW: It’s right here some place, I saw I a minute ago.Student: There’s another poem that I think… the poem for his daughter.. ["A Prayer For My Daughter"]AG: Well, we’re trying to work through it chronologically (sort of). Where are they?PW: I saw the “Vacillation” a minute ago, wait a minute… page 245…Student: (Reminiscent of Bob Dylan’s) ” Ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat/I’d give it all gladly if our lives could be like that” AG: Uh-huh. that’s right, yeah, that’s right.Diane di Prima [also sitting-in on the class]: Past friends. A lot of the same imagery.AG: Dylan has read Yeats, actually – about 1967. In (19)67, Dylan read a lot of Emily Dickinson, (W.B.) Yeats,(William) Blake, (Arthur) Rimbaud. I think that song is since then. [to Philip Whalen] What have you got there?PW: It’s for you. I was just.. I thought maybe you might.. he asked you to read it.. I thought..AG: Where is that? “Vacillation”?PW: It’s interesting, though, because it uses some of the same images that are in that poem that you wanted to do about “Among School Children”. Why don’t you do the “Among School Children” one?AG: Okay, what page is it?PW: 212.AG: Well, what I like is 212, because I’m beginning to feel like that! - It’s called “Among School Children” [Allen reads Yeats’ “Among School Children" i
6 days ago
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Normal.dotm 0 0 1 748 4267 University Health Network 35 8 5240 12.0 0 false 18 pt 18 pt 0 0 false false false /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} [W.B.Yeats (1865-1939), circa 1920, from the George Grantham Bain Collection, Library of Congress]Philip Whalen: Another one of the down poems (of W.B.Yeats) is the one that I was trying to find a while ago – [PW reads “The Witch” - “Toil and grow rich/What’s that but to lie/With a foul witch/And after, drained dry,/ To be brought/To the chamber where/Lies one long sought/ With despair?” - followed by “The Peacock” - “What’s riches to him/That has made a great peacock/With the pride of his eye?/The wind-beaten stone-grey/And desolate Three Rock/Would nourish his whim/Live he or die/Amid wet rocks and heather,/ His ghost will be gay/Adding feather to feather/For the pride of his eye”AG: As Phil(ip) was saying, that ‘s paraphrased and parodied by (Ezra) Pound in "The Pisan Cantos” – “remembering Old William upstairs composing, “In the proide of his eye, in the proide of his eye…”PW: “That has made a graete paycock.. made a graete paycock.. made a graete paycock/With the proide of his oiye” – I guess Yeats didn’t have that thick an accent. I’ve heard recordings of his readings, and he didn’t have a terribly heavy brogue, because he had spent so much time in England, and one place or another. He starts breaking out near this time, near the time of Responsibilities, into a whole new system of imagery and what-not. He gets hung up on the word, (just, simply, the word), “Byzantium”, and it, all of a sudden, opens up a whole magical realm to him. The first one of the poems, I guess, that gets into that noise, is called “The Magi” – [PW begins reading Yeats’ “The Magi”] – “Now, as at all times, I can see in the mind’s eye,/In their stiff painted clothes the pale unsatisfied ones/ Appear and disappear in the blue depths of the sky/With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones/ And all of their helms of silver hovering side by side,/ And all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more,/ Being by Cavalry’s turbulence unsatisfied,/The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor.”AG: Some apocalypse there, actually, which builds. He apparently had a number of, odd, let us say, religious experiences, or mystical experiences, or sudden wakenings in the middle of his everyday life (usually associated with some kind of reconciliation of opposites), or an experience of coldness or death or emptiness, or the loss of friends, so, there’s a celebrated poem called “The Cold Heaven”Student: The what?AG: “The Cold Heaven”. [Allen proceeds to read the poem –W.B.Yeats’ “The Cold Heaven"] – “Suddenly I saw the cold and rook-delighting heaven/That seemed although ice burned and was but more ice”… “..Ah! when the ghost begins to quicken/Confusion of the death-bed over, is it sent/Out naked on the roads, as the books say, and stricken/By the injustice of the skies for punishment” – That’s really sort of a cold, implacable objectivity - a shaft of objectivity that hits his brain. Also the reference here is to some similar texts that we’re studying here at Naropa. I suppose, either Theosophical, or Hindu, or perhaps even Tibetan-style, accounts of post-death experience. Anyway, he and his wife, I think, maybe from that time, or later on..PW: I
7 days ago
It's time for the Cybils award and I am tickled pink to serve as a judge in the POETRY category once again. Woo hoo! CYBILS stands for the Children's and YA Bloggers Literary awards and have been going strong since they were launched in ...
It's time for the Cybils award and I am tickled pink to serve as a judge in the POETRY category once again. Woo hoo! CYBILS stands for the Children's and YA Bloggers Literary awards and have been going strong since they were launched in 2006. Nominations opened today and close pretty quickly-- Oct. 15, so go here to put your favorite book forward. You can nominate in more than one category, but only one book in each. Then the judges will consider all the eligible books, correspond extensively, cajole, analyze, argue, advocate, and then select a short list of finalists (which is announced in November, if I remember correctly)-- which will then be sent to the second round of judges who choose ONE book for the award which is announced in February. That's it-- in a nutshell. Of course heaps of awards will be decided and announced in January, but I'm so happy that the Cybils has a category for poetry alone. Woo hoo!The previous poetry winners include: 2012: BookSpeak! Poems about Books by Laura Purdie Salas2011: Requiem: Poems of the Terezin Ghetto by Paul B. Janeczko2010: Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer2009: Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors by Joyce Sideman2008: Honeybee by Naomi Shihab Nye2007: This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness by Joyce Sidman2006: Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow by Joyce SidmanAnd the short lists of "Finalists" offer a tremendous roster of the best of the best. Check out this year's nominations and nominate your own favorite.
7 days ago
Normal.dotm 0 0 1 1245 7097 University Health Network 59 14 8715 12.0 0 false 18 pt 18 pt 0 0 false false false /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Norma...
Normal.dotm 0 0 1 1245 7097 University Health Network 59 14 8715 12.0 0 false 18 pt 18 pt 0 0 false false false /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} [W.B.Yeats (1865-1939) in 1910 - photo by Alvin Langdon Coburn]AG: Early on, he (Yeats) began to realize transitoriness, and the withering up of his youthful powers, or, at any rate, the withering up of his youthful imagination. (He was), I guess helped by (Ezra) Pound, who took all his early poems and blue-pencilled them – underlined every word that Pound thought was abstract. Yeats, in his preface to A Vision, (talks about how Pound criticized anything) that didn’t satisfy (his) notion of presentation rather than reference, (of) presenting concrete facts, as in “No ideas but in things” (rather than some) abstract reference, or vague.. murmurous Irish twilight, Irish Renaissance,bullshit.. Donovan.. or, in (y)our terms, Donovan-style flower power image. In those days, Celtic Twilightrhetoric (was), I guess, an outgrowth of (the) Yellow Decade. 1890’s sentimental Romanticism, or Pre-Raphaelite prettiness. Yeats said that, after Pound had underlined all the abstract words, he hadn’t realized how far the younger generation had gone towards concreteness, or toward a totally different view of poetic reality and realism. I began affecting him early, actually. He has, in an early book, 1910, The Green Helmet – “The Fascination of What’s Difficult” – [Allen reads Yeats’ “The Fascination of What’s Difficult” - “The fascination of what’s difficult/ Has dried the sap out of my veins and rent/ Spontaneous joy and natural content/Out of my heart…”…”….My curse on plays/ that have to be set up in fifty ways,/ On the day’s war with every knave and dolt/Theatre business, management of men/ I swear before the dawn comes round again/I’ll find the stable and pull out the bolt”] - He had actually been involved with Irish politics, and still was, and the management of the Abbey Theatre is what he refers to here, writing plays for the Abbey Theatre.Philip Whalen: Well, he invented it, actually.AG: Yeah, well with Lady Gregory. Just as we are now investigating, say, local American place myths, Amer-Indian myths, so there was a revival of Irish mythology and Celtic folktale, or Celtic legend, land-rooted. Yeats, remembering (William) Blake’s injunction to remove those “dark satanic mills”, saw in the Industrial Revolution as it had come to flower, the destruction of all valuable traditions, and was willing to cut himself down to some nervy resonance, (which is his word), (a) drier realism, to face his own aging and the decline of his own imprecise self-mythologization. There’s a little poem from the same time (1910) -”The Coming of Wisdom with Time”. You can dig this in relation to (William) Wordsworth’’s aging process. As Yeats got older, he got sexier, actually, and more concrete. (as Wordsworth got older he got more abstracted, actually, spaced-out, in a way. [Allen begins reading “The Coming of Wisdom with Time”] – “Though leaves are many, the root is one/ Through all the lying days of my youth/ I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun/Now I may wither into the truth” – Then, also, having been involved in the world (of) business, he has a little note in the same book –"All things can tempt me" - “All things can tempt me from this craft of vers
8 days ago