Tag Archives: Allen Ginsberg

“[My ambition is to] give something to our literature which will be our own.” — Walt Whitman

“I like to think that eventually he will shame us into becoming Americans again.” — Guy Davenport on Walt Whitman Whitman is the organizing principle behind my review of Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Revue. Bob Dylan quotes Whitman all the … Continue reading

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“When I aim at praise, they say I bite.” — Alexander Pope

How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot! The world forgetting, by the world forgot. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! -— Alexander Pope, from “Eloisa to Abelard” Alexander Pope was born on this day in 1688. He was so huge … Continue reading

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“For I am of the seed of the WELCH WOMAN and speak the truth from my heart.” Happy Birthday, Poet Christopher Smart

“For in my nature I quested for beauty, but God, God hath sent me to sea for pearls.” — Christopher Smart, from “Jubilate Agno” Christopher Smart, born on this day in 1722, spent over 10 years of his life locked … Continue reading

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“I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till I drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.” — Jack Kerouac

It’s his birthday today. In Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe paints a pretty brutal picture of Jack Kerouac, at a party in New York, when the Hippie Bus rolled into town. (Robert Stone was also at that party. He … Continue reading

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“Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.” — poet/engraver/visionary William Blake

“I mean, don’t you think it’s a little bit excessive?” “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. William Blake.” Pause. “William Blake?” “William Blake!” “William Blake???” “William Blake!!!” — Bull Durham William Blake was a poet virtually … Continue reading

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“The rhythm is jazz.” — Hart Crane

“What I want to get is … an ‘interior’ form, a form that is so thorough and intense as to dye the words themselves with a pecularity of meaning, slightly different maybe from the ordinary definition of them separate from … Continue reading

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For Film Comment: On Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story

For my fourth “Present Tense” column at Film Comment (archive here, thus far), I wrote about the WONDER that is Martin Scorsese’s new documentary (or should I say “documentary”?) about Bob Dylan’s 1975 “Rolling Thunder Revue” tour.

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The Books: The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake

Daily Book Excerpt: Poetry Time to leave behind The Penguin Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry (all posts here), and move on to the next book on my shelf, which is The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake, an enormous … Continue reading

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The Books: “The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry” – Allen Ginsberg

Daily Book Excerpt: Poetry The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, Volume 2: Contemporary Poetry, edited by Jahan Ramazani, Richard Ellmann, and Robert O’Clair I’ve moved on from the “Modern” volume, and am now in the “Contemporary” volume. The … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, William Blake!

He was a poet (virtually unknown in his own lifetime), and also an engraver (I’ve put some of his startling work in the extended entry – but if you want to see more of his work, check out this link). … Continue reading

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