Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Spontaneous Poetics - 111 - Whitman 3


File:WhitmanHouse-CamdenNJ1.jpg
[Walt Whitman's house in Camden, New Jersey (originally Mickle Street, now Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard), is now maintained and open to the public, and operates as a museum ] 


File:WaltWhitman-Camden1891.jpg
[Walt Whitman - Photographed in his home in Camden, 1891, by Samuel Murray]
AG: You had your hand raised?

Student: Was he popular in his life, Walt Whitman?  Was he respected as a a..

AG: Yeah, somewhat. He was somewhat popular and respected. Once in a while, he'd go out and travel forth to Kansas, I think, by train, and write little poems and give little poetry readings to the Chamber of Commerce. I remember I went to Camden, two years ago, where he lived, to give a reading at Rutgers (University) and I was asked to go give a reading on the steps of a school-house that was going to be demolished for urban reconstruction, which the local people objected to, and so I read on that schoolhouse's steps the very same poem that Whitman had read on that schoolhouse's steps when he dedicated the school. So in Camden he was locally known. He was the good grey bard who would be called out to read on the steps of the new school a dedicatory poem.

Student: (And in) Camden (today) there's a  Walt Whitman bridge too.

AG: No, but he was asking about in his time.

Student: Yeah.

AG: Of course there's a Walt Whitman bridge in Camden. That was proposed many years ago, (I'd say about twenty years ago), but then someone in New York objected because Whitman was a homosexual and they thought it was a bad idea to have a Walt Whitman bridge. So it wound up that the bridge that was going to be named after him got named after another fairy, Joyce Kilmer! (because Kilmer was more closet - but then it was scandalous to discover that Kilmer was also a faggot! - You know, Kilmer was the one - "I think I will never see/ a poem lovely as a tree" -  so he got the bridge named after him..)

Student: He was a war hero, Allen.

AG: Yeah.

Student: In the First World War.























[Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918), Columbia University Yearbook photo c.1908]

AG: Right. He had military closet(ed). So, out of the closet! Democracy out of the closet! (which is Whitman's theme as a prophet) - [Allen then quotes Whitman - "Of the whole, Poems and Prose (not attending at all to chronological oder, and with the original dates and passing allusions in the heat and impression of the hour, left shuffled in, and indisturb'd), the chants of Leaves of Grass, my former Volume, yet serve as the indispensible deep soil, or basis, out of which, and out of which only, could come the roots and stems more definitely indicated by these later pages (While that Volume radiates Physiology alone, the present One, though of the like origin in the main, more palpably doubtless shows the Pathology which was pretty sure to come in time from the other" - Then he has a big, long footnote, which is a really remarkable statement, in which he says - "Then I meant Leaves of Grass, as published, to be a Poem of (Average) Identity, (of Yours, whoever you are, now reading these lines)....".."A man is not (present) as victor in war, nor inventor or explorer, nor even in science, or in his intellectual or artistic capacity, or exemplar in some vast benevolence.."..."Something more..".."To sing the song of that (law of average Identity), and of Yourself, consistently with the Divine Law of the (Universe), is (the) main intention of these Leaves" - So he's made explanations. It's all supposed to be about you or us or our own nature. But then he makes a really remarkable divagation - "Something more may be added - for, while I am about it, I would make a full confession, I also sent out Leaves of Grass to arouse and set flowing in men's and women's hearts, young and old, endless streams of living, pulsating love and friendship, directly from them to myself, now and ever. To this terrible, irrepressible yearning, (surely, more or less down underneath in most human souls), this never-satisfied appetite for sympathy, this boundless offering of sympathy, this universal democratic comradeship, this old, eternal, yet ever-new interchange of adhesiveness, so fitly emblematic of America, I have given in that book, undisguisedly, declaredly, the openest expression....

Whitman1
[Walt Whitman  (1819-1892), circa 1850, in his early 'thirties]

"Besides, as important as they are in my purpose as emotional expressions for humanity, the special meaning of the Calamus cluster of Leaves of Grass (and more or less running through the book and cropping out in Drum Taps), mainly resides in its Political significance. In my opinion, it is by a fervent, accepted development of Comradeship, the beautiful and sane affection of man for man, latent in all the young fellows, North and South, East and West - it is by this, I say, and by what goes directly and indirectly along with it, that the United States of the future, (I cannot too often repeat), are to be most effectively welded together, intercalated, anneal'd into a Living Union."

That's kind of an interesting proposition. Because, really, that is... huh?

Student: Proposition?

AG: It's a proposition. He's making the same proposition as "Who touches this book touches a man", which is the significance of that statement too.   So he's proposing that.. He says "man for man", so, obviously this is Men's Lib, and Women's Lib is yet to come, though he pays lip-service to Women's Lib occasionally - liberation of love woman-to-woman, as well as woman-to-man and man-to-woman - but his main proposition here is that the affections between men and men, which have been diverted into competitive capitalistic competition, so to speak, have to be altered. He's proposing "adhesiveness" rather than competitiveness, and he's defining it as erotic (or, at least, as emotional, and, in his poetry, often defining it as erotic). He gives quite a few glimpses (including the passage I read of (him) lying down and his friend tongue-ing his bosom and holding him from beard to toe - or the few moments of odd contact in bars, where some soul will stop and glance at him across the bar and sit holding hands with him for over an hour without saying a word). So I'm wondering..  I'm going to move to the end of his life to see how that idealism sustained itself..      

Student: Allen

AG: Yeah

Student: Last night, when you read this long poem ["Song of Myself"], I got the impression that you paid much more than lip-service to, say, the feminist approach. It struck me as an extremely feminist (poem), I suppose, emphasizing (the) feminine aspect of human nature.

AG: Well, he was emphasizing his own feminine nature, certainly, or he's bringing that out.. So, in that sense, sure. But there is in him (as in my own writing probably) somewhat a preoccupation with the male body rather than the female body - and then, occasionally, he'll remind himself that he's leaving out... he's trying to be all-inclusive, or he's trying to proposition the men by proposing an all-inclusive universal affection, but he's really interested in the men. That's why he's got to make it universal, so that men will extend their affection to men as well as women. But then he realizes he's got to extend his affection to women now, as he's asking men to extend their affection to the men. So every once in a while he'll stop and say, "Well, women, too", or "I also sing women", or "I do propose that women and motherhood is the greatest!" 

Student: No, but on a more profound level, (and on a more cosmic or religious level), he's very much aware of the female.

AG: Yes, of course. Yes. Sure. Except, I'm just putting it on a very clear homosexual proposition. He's already cosmic enough, he's already cosmic. I was just trying to make it familiar in terms of our own experience.   

[Audio for the above is available here (starting approximately nine minutes in, through to approximately nineteen minutes in]  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Spontaneous Poetics - 110 - Whitman 2




Whitman continued...

Allen's Spontaneous and Improvised Poetics lecture of July 26 1976 takes up again on August 2  (Allen also refers to his classes that were missed, due to being summoned back to attend to the funeral arrangements for his father, and that were taken over by Philip Whalen and by others in his absence)

AG: (So) Are we done with all of our preliminaries? - okay.. so, today you're to hand in your Blues (assignment(s)) [sic]. So write one now, if you haven't (already), or utter it forth on the page..

(So), we had started with (the) sacred, sacramental, ceremonial, functions of poetry. Philip (Whalen), in the last class [sic], read (so I'm told) a good deal of (Walt) Whitman's prose, and I want to pick up where I left off..with Whitman, and pick up where Philip left off with Whitman, and read two passages of his prose that I always liked, and (that) are always, to use his own word, indicative for me (and then go back and pick up where I left off - remember, I had given a recitation of the organic lights, liver, lungs, eye-balls of "Song of Myself", and (had) concluded it, and then I went on to jump way ahead, fifty years, to Whitman's old age, to see how his afflatus was sustained at a time when he had kidney-stones, gallbladder trouble, tuberculosis, emphysema, diseased heart, rheumatism, gout - a whole universe, a whole cosmos, of disorders, of illnesses, as (poet) Jonathan Williams (has) pointed out...


In Democratic Vistas, there is a paragraph which I have been lifting and quoting for years as a great analysis of what's happened to America - a disillusion paragraph for Whitman. A lot of the afflatus of the prose that Philip was pointing out (has) a certain generalization, and phoniness, about.. some of the early prose, simply because he's making an idea, he's promoting an idea, (a) somewhat egocentric, or egoistic, idea of democracy as being identical with his fantasy, or with his desire. But then there's a later, disillusioned Whitman. So what I'm going to do is talk about (this) disillusioned Whitman (partly in relation to politics, and partly in relation to his own body) and then move on to disillusioned (William) Wordsworth (and put the two of them together again).

[Allen begins reading from Whitman's "Democratic Vistas"] - "Arrived now definitely at an apex for these vistas. - [Democratic Vistas] -  I confess that the promulgation and belief in such a class of institution, a new and greater literatus order, its possibility made certainty, underlies these entire speculations" - and, incidentally, underlies, to some degree, the whole notion of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (at Naropa) - "the promulgation and belief in...a new and greater literatus order" (in our case, perhaps, a "literatus order" inspired by beatnik ecstasy and chastened by classic meditation) - Its possibility made certainty underlies these entire speculations. And that the rest, the other parts, as superstructures, are all founded upon it. It really seems to me the condition, not only of our future national and democratic development, but of our perpetuation. In the highly artificial and materialistic bases of modern civilization, with the corresponding arrangements and methods of living, the forced infusion of intellect alone, the depraving influence of riches just as much as poverty, the absence of all high ideals and character, with a long series of tendencies, shapings, which few are strong enough to resist, and which now seem, with steam-engine speed - (or jet-plane rapidity) - to be everywhere turning out the generations of humanity like uniform iron castings, all of which, compared with the feudal ages, we can yet do nothing better than accept, make the best of, and even welcome, on the whole, for their oceanic practical grandeur and their restless wholesale, the kneading of the masses - (K-N-E-A-D-I-N-G -"their restless wholesale kneading of the masses") - I say all of this tremendous and dominant play of solely materialistic bearings upon current life in the United States, with the results as already seen, the cumulating and reaching far into the future, that they must either be confronted and met by at least an equally subtle and tremendous force infusion for purposes of spiritualization, for the pure conscience, for genuine aesthetics, and for absolute and primal manliness and womanliness, or else our modern civilization, with all its improvements, is in vain, and we are on road to a destiny, a status, equivalent in its real world to that of the fabled damned." - (That's one of the great Whitmanic phrases on America - "The fabled damned" of nations - which is something that has actually come true!)



So what "force infusion of spiritualization" or "for absolute and primal manliness and womanliness" is he recommending? In the 1876 "Preface" to Leaves of Grass, there are a couple of statements that I have never seen emphasized very much, but which I have been isolating and emphasizing myself a lot (and used as a Preface to The Fall of America) - the "fabled damned of nations" phrase. What was his prescription for America in order to make American democracy work? (I'm still talking in terms of the poet as the Aboriginal songman, leading the whole society on this migration cycle - in this case, a spiritual migration cycle rather than a geographic migration cycle - Whitman here performing the role of.. what? - national prophet? (which he finally was - that was a status that was later given him, whether in joke, earnest, or provisionally, to see what happened) - In any case, he did finally get to have that role of prophet-poet, or social prophet, and is accepted as such, around the world, in that guise. Like, in Russia, Whitman is read as, "Yes, your national spokesman" (but a "spokesman", in the sense of  "What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed", obviously), the one who would speak for the individual heart in America. And, since America was supposed to be the land of individuals, therefore the man who spoke for the individual heart was the prophet (like (Henry) Thoreau or (Ralph Waldo) Emerson, who said that, in the universe, the individual was a space or state vaster and more real than any idea of government ) 

[Audio for the above may be found here, starting at the beginning, through for the first nine   minutes]        

Monday, July 29, 2013

Spontaneous Poetics - 109 - Whitman 1






































[ Walt Whitman (1819-1892)]

[Allen's July 26, 1976 Naropa lecture (Spontaneous and Improvised Poetics) continues.
Today, he moves the subject on to Walt Whitman]

AG: But I was getting up to what happens to the bard when.. or, what happened to the bard. You still had a bardic function, even in the 19th century, with Walt Whitman.

So I want to jump now from Blues Come All Ye’s to Walt Whitman, or from Australian Aborigine Songmen, up through Blues, to Walt Whitman. We began..Philip was..Philip (Whalen) in the first sessions, was talking about the sacred function, original functions, and the communal functions, of poetry (and) so I’m still somewhat following that theme..

(Yeah, let's take a look at Whitman).  So here's Walt Whitman's version of a "Come All Ye" [Allen proceeds to recite Whitman's "Poets To Come"] -  "Poets to come! orators, singers, musicians to come!/Not to-day is to justify me and answer what I am for,/ But you, a new brood, native, athletic, continental, greater than/ before known/ Arouse! for you must justify me./ I myself write one or two indicative words for the future/ I but advance a moment only to wheel and hurry back in the/darkness/ I am a man who, sauntering along without fully stopping, turns a casual look upon you and then averts his face,/ Leaving it to you to prove and define it,/Expecting the main things from you." - That's followed by.. These are among his early poems in Leaves of Grass, among the "Inscriptions", as they are called. (Next), a little two-line poem, breaking through the formality of manners and formality of poetic manners, (as he did when he said "Who touches this (book) touches a man", which was a totally erotic statement, actually - that's the intention of it (actually) - "Who touches this, touches a man") - "Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should/ you not speak to me?/ And why should I not speak to you?" - a very funny clear little statement. Why he can make the statement (is) because he had come to a situation of empathy, or sympathy, where he realized that his own secret nature, his own private self, his non-public recollection, was probably no different from anybody else's home-made recollection of sense of self, desires, and gaps between desires (in his case, mostly desire). So he wanted to get close to people, and in the America that was developing in his time it was more and more difficult for men to get close to each other, citizens to get close to each other, and, in some respects, for men and women, to approach each other honestly.  So the only evidence he had for what was emotional reality or psychological reality was the evidence of his own senses, how he felt himself, how he saw himself, and what he wanted from others. He couldn't take it from any standard given, because his own senses were much more longing and fulsome and desirous, so the bardic news that he had to announce was how he really felt, or what was the nature of the self and what were the movements of self. So he begins with "Song of Myself", which, though it's sort of a subjective title, Song of Myself, on the other hand, is completely objective (because the "self", also, in there, is the real thing, and he's accurately notating what passes through his mind-body, what are the evidences, or data, of his senses and his feelings), and he's turning reality inside-out by making the public, private (somewhat as Charles Olson later said - or as I paraphrase what he later said - "Private is public and public is how we behave"). Public is how we behave, how we actually behave, (as distinct from how we're "supposed to behave", in "public"). So there's an element of bardic announcement of public behavior, or an ideal public behavior, reflecting subjective, private, in a completely clear and objective way (objective, because, after all, it's real feelings he's talking about, real in the sense that he experienced them, and therefore can rely on them to be as objective, when he describes them, as a description of a tree or a wind).  

I want to read through a little Whitman and see what that sounds like here, now. [Allen begins by reading, consecutively, the first five sections of "Song of Myself" (followed by

Sections 7, 11, 16, 17, 21, 24, 25, 31, 38, 44 and, ("I'll go to the end"),  50, 51 and 52.] 


[Leaves of Grass, 1855 first edition (later issue) - courtesy University of Delaware, Special Collections]

Well, what does all that boil down to, or what does that love boil down to?  Is this an authentic record of a natural perception (such as might belong to any man or any woman in any clime, or any of us)? Now, obviously it does tally with our own imaginations of ourselves, because everybody has felt, at one time or another, like this. Everybody (has) identified, as Whitman has identified, with the whole creation, and found himself identifying with the prisoner on the line waiting for food (not the handsome strong prisoner, but the cowardly one with the moustache and a droop of sweat coming from the moustache, or, as Frank O'Hara identified (it), [the citation is from Whitman] - "looking in at the shop-windows of Broadway the whole forenoon, flatting the flesh of my nose on the thick plate glass"... )  So there's that much universal self that's recognizable in Whitman's statement, but the question that (a)rises, to anybody, grown more old and experienced than (some) youthful pantheistic identification with the entire cosmos, is, (is) this an attitude, or an empathy, or a movement of feeling, that would be appropriate on, (say) the cancer death-bed? Would you still feel so confident and sure that your self is immortalized and (all-inclusive and) granite.


(So), if you turn to his later life, actually, and in (the) late, late poems, you'll find out how he felt when he died (or when he was so old that some of the ebullience and insistency of the early enthusiasm and emotional passion and large self-hood were beginning to be dissolved by a veritable cosmos of diseases). There's a funny little poem by Jonathan Williams describing Walt Whitman, literally, as a cosmos, because, (during) his autoposy it was found that he had problems with a cancer, an enlarged prostate, and kidney trouble, and emphysema, and nodules in his lungs, and innumerable lists of Whitmanic diseases


(Here's late Whitman) - "As I sit writing here" - "As I sit writing here sick and grown old/Not my least burden is that dulness of the years, querilities,/Ungracious glooms, aches, lethargy, constipation, whimpering, ennui/ May filter into my daily songs" - Not my least burden is that dulness...may filter into my daily songs" - he's worried - [Allen continues reading (late Whitman) - "Queries to My Seventieth Year" - "Approaching, nearing curious,/ Thou dim, uncertain spectre - bringest thou life or death?/ Strength, weakness, blindness, more paralysis and heavier?/ Or placid skies and sun? Wilt stir the waters yet?/ Or haply cut me short for good? Or leave me here as now,/Dull, parrot-like and old, with crack'd voice harping, screeching?"  - What time is it?


Student: It's ten past.


AG: Oh, I'm sorry, I've run on, Okay, I'll answer questions as to whether Whitman's psychological cosmos is a viable one or not, (in the next few days),  in several days.... 


[Audio for the above may be found here - the reading from "Song of Myself" beginning at approximately six minutes in, and running through to approximately forty minutes in]   

to be continued..  

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Voices and Visions and Whitman



In preparation for some words on Whitman from Allen coming up next week 

Walt Whitman presented for the American public in 1988 in the television series, "Voices and Visions"Allen appears alongside Galway Kinnell (who gives most of the readings), Donald Hall, and biographers and critics (Justin Kaplan, Harold Bloom...)

Here are (as excerpted) the Ginsberg sound-bytes:


"My father was a high-school teacher, across the river in Paterson, New Jersey, and he taught Whitman, so I got Whitman in very early, as, what? as a kind of a patriotic poet and American poet , the high-school-hero poet, and then I had a really interesting high-school teacher in East Side High school, Mrs Frances Durbin, 300 pounds, who read the line "I find that no fat sweeter than sticks to my own bones" and I realized the enormous humanity and charm of Whitman, his complete appeal."

"Poe was a dream-generalist, that is, a philosophical dreamer, who had phantoms that he described in detail. Melville, the other great poet of the 19th Century, in his prose, had infinite command of minute particulars, in his poetry, quite a good command, but still was writing in a limited closed form, and.. but he was getting close.  Emily Dickinson had intelligent metaphysical detail and garden detail - but it was a smaller form.. Now,Whitman opened up space completely, opened up the space of the line, broke open the line, so that you could say anything you want, could notice anything you want, and could bring in all the everyday particulars of kitchen-ware life, dock life, skyscraper life..."    

"After I wrote Howl, I went back to Whitman, because I was interested in how he handled the long line . I read Whitman from beginning to end in this particular Modern Library edition of Leaves of Grass.
He broke open the line so that you could talk with unobstructed breath, you could use the breath as long as you want, to explain your idea."



"If Whitman tells America, "I am large, I contain multitudes", it's that he contains multitudes of thought - just like anybody else. "I am vast.."  My mind is as big as the horizon that you see about because in my mind I can see the horizon, so therefore it enters my mind, so therefore my mind is as big as the horizon."

"He loved his fellows and that's kind of universal, whether it was genital, is another matter, likely it was, as I know, I've slept with Neal Cassady who slept with Gavin Arthur who slept with Edward Carpenter who described sleeping with Whitman to Gavin Arthur, [The "Gay Succession"], so there was, perhaps, some general directness there."

""Earth My Likeness" in which he finally confesses completely to anybody who's reading carefully (sic). "I now suspect that that is not all/I now suspect there's something fierce in you eligible to burst forth/ For an athlete is enamour'd of me, and I of him/But toward him there is something fierce and terrible in me eligible to burst forth/I dare not tell it in words, not even in these songs" - So there he's already told you."

"He never was overt in the sense of speaking of "the Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name". On the other hand, his descriptions of his feelings were overt."

Allen reads Whitman's "A Glimpse" at  approximately thirty-seven-and-a-quarter minutes in ( "A glimpse through an interstice caught/Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room around the stove late of a winter night, and I unremark'd seated in a corner,/Of a youth who loves me and whom I love, silently approaching and seating himself near, that he may hold me by the hand,/A long while amid the noises of coming and going, of drinking and oath and smutty jest,/There we two, content, happy in being together, speaking little, perhaps not a word").

"Whitman's role in the war was not killing but healing. He went to hospitals and took care of young kids who were wounded and sometimes dying, and kissed them on their deathbeds, probably weeping young boys that had never seen life. There's this old bearded Father Time figure, totally in love with them, taking care of them."

"So, he doesn't know what is happening to his body..so he says - [At approximately fifty-and-three-quarter minutes in, Allen reads "As I sit writing here- "As I sit writing here, sick and grown old,/Not my least burden is the dulness of the years, querilities/ Ungracious glooms, aches, lethargy, constipation, whimpering ennui,/ May filter in my daily songs." - that's an old little poem, worried about his constipation getting into his poetry (he inherited that before) and finally realizes a more Oriental calm in a poem called "Twilight", in "Sands at Seventy" - [Allen reads the poem approximately fifty-one-and three-quarter minutes in) -   "The soft voluptuous  opiate-shades/ The sun just gone, the eager light dispelled,/A haze, nirvana - rest and night - oblivion"]"

"All of the Leaves of Grass dissolved, all of the Earth dissolved,  all of the Universe dissolved, all the sound of the world dissolved..."

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday's Weekly Round-Up - 136



















[Allen Ginsberg's old shoes (a pair of sneakers made in then-communist Czechoslovakia) and a
letter from Lawrence Ferlinghetti - part of the Allen Ginsberg Archives at Stanford University]



An interesting review/profile/spotlight, coming off Bill Morgan's recent talk at Stanford, the home of Allen's Archive  - and an enthused response (to that curious thing - the poetry archive) lead off the Friday Round-Up this week. 

and we mentioned already Peter Orlovsky's archives, right?

Pat Nolan's "The Quantum of Kerouac" in the current Poetry Flash is definitely worth a read. 

David Barnett in The Guardian also has the Kerouac bug.

[Some of Jack Kerouac's Personal Effects - on display at The New York Public Library 2011] 



San Francisco's Beat gathering last week, the Beat Reunion,  gets a tv profile from reporter Rebecca Bowring here. (Featured are interviews/sound bytes with Jerry Cimino Alan Kaufman - and the glorious octogenarian Beat, ruth weiss).

Hilary Holladay's  Herbert Huncke biography, American Hipster gets two San Francisco airings - tonight, a "multi-media presentation" at the Beat Museum - and tomorrow, (a) "reading (and) book-signing, (complete with) rare film clips", at Alley Cat Books over on 24th Street. 

Jan Herman takes the occasion to recall his fleeting encounters with the man (and includes his New York Times Book Review review of Huncke's "Guilty of Everything") - here.

We'll have more on American Hipster in the weeks to come.



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Arabic America

We featured this past July 4, Allen's still-surprisingly-relevant 1956 poem, "America". Here's Moroccan poet & scholar, El Habib Louai's, Arabic translation. He is currently working to translate Allen's complete collected poems into Arabic.




America

أمــــــــــــــــــريـــــــــكـــــــــــــا

. أمريكا لقد منحتك كل شيء وها أنا الآن لا شيء
أمريكا، دولارين وسبعة وعشرين سنتيمات،
سبعة عشر ينايرألف وتسع مائة وست وخمسين
. أنا لا أستطيع أن أحافظ على رأيي الخاص
أمريكا متى سننهي الحرب على الإنسانية؟
انكحي نفسك بقنبلتك الذرية!
أنا لا أشعر أنني بحالة جيدة
. لا تزعجني
. لن أكتب قصيدتي حتى يستقيم رأي
أمريكا متى ستصبحين بريئة؟
متى ستخلعين ملابسك؟
متى ستنظرين إلى نفسك من خلال اللحد؟
متى ستكونين جديرة بالمليون تروتسكي الذين يسكنون أرضك ؟
أمريكا لماذا تمتلئ مكتباتك بالدموع؟
أمريكا متى سترسلين بيضك إلى الهند؟
.لقدسئمت من رغباتك المخبولة
متى يمكنني الذهاب الى السوق الممتاز
لأشتري ما أحتاج اليه فقط بمحياي الجميل؟
أمريكا أنا وأنت نمثل الشيء المطلق بعد كل شىيء
. وليس العالم الأخر
. آلاتك تفوق مايلزم بالنسبة الي
. جعلتني أتوق الى أن أصبح قديسا
! يجب أن تكون هناك وسيلة أخرى لتسوية هذه المسألة
بوروز في  مدينة طنجة.
لا أعتقد أنه سوف يعود.
.الأمرأصبح مشؤوما
هل أنت مشؤوم كذلك؟
 أوأن المسألة تتعلق بشكل من أشكال النكتة الواقعية ؟
. أنا أحاول أن أصل إلى لب المسألة
. أنا أرفض أن أتخلى عن هاجسي
أمريكا توقفي عن دفعي.
أنا  أعرف ما أفعله.
. أمريكا ان أزهار البرقوق تسقط
أنا لم أقرأ الصحف منذ شهور،
. شخص ما يحكم عليه بتهمة القتل كل يوم
أمريكا أنا أتعاطف مع جماعة الوبليين                                                   
أمريكا  لقد كنت شيوعيا عندما كنت طفلا
. أنا لست آسفا
. أدخن القنب الهندي كلما أتيحت لي الفرصة
أجلس في بيتي لأيام لاتنتهي
. وأحدق في الورود داخل الغرفة
. عندما أذهب إلى الحي الصيني أسكر
لكنني لا أضاجع أحدا.
لقد اتخدت قراري
المتاعب قادمة.
. يجب أن تنظروا الي وأنا أقرء ماركس
. طبيبي النفسي يعتقد أنني تماما على حق
. لن أصلي للرب
. لدي رؤى صوفية واهتزازات كونية
أمريكا لم أخبرك بعد بما فعلته للعم ماكس
.عندما قدم من بلاد الروس
! أنا أخاطبكم
هل ستسمحون لمجلة التايم  بأن تديرحياتكم العاطفية ؟
. أنا مهووس بمجلة التايم
. أقرأها كل أسبوع
غلافها يحدق في وجهي
كلما مررت خلسة بدكان السكاكر المنزوي.
. قرأتها في الطابق السفلي لمكتبة بيركلي العامة
كانت تخبرني دائما عن المسؤولية:
رجال الأعمال جديين.
. منتجي الأفلام جديين
. كل الناس جديين باستثنائي
. يخطر لي أنني أمريكا
. أنا أتحدث لنفسي مرة أخرى
. آسيا تنتفض ضدي
. أنا لاأمتلك فرصة الرجل الصيني
. من الأفضل أن أ راجع مواردي الوطنية
مواردي الوطنية تتكون من:
 لفافتي قنب هندي،
ملايين الأعضاء التناسلية،
كتب شخصية غير خاضعة للرقابة
تسير بألف و أربع مائة ميل في الساعة.
.وخمسة وعشرين ألف مؤسسة للأمراض العقلية
أنا لن أقول شيئا عن سجوني
ولا عن ملايين المحرومين
 الذين يعيشون بأصيص أزهاري
. تحت ضوء خمس مائة شمس
لقد قضيت على دورالدعارة بفرنسا،
. طنجة ستكون محطتي الثانية
طموحي هو أن أكون رئيسا
. بالرغم من أنني كاثوليكي
أمريكا كيف يمكنني
 أن أكتب صلاة قدسية
 في مزاجك السخيف؟
سأواصل مثل هنري فورد
مقطوعاتي الشعريه فريدة مثل سياراته
الى درجة تجعل منها جنسين مختلفين.
أمريكا سأبيع لك مقطوعاتي الشعرية
 بألفين و خمسمائة دولار لكل مقطوعة شعرية.
 سأحذف خمسمائة دولار من مقطوعتك القديمة.
أمريكا أطلقي سراح توم موني
أمريكا أنقدي  الموالين لإسبانيا
أميركا ساكو وفانزيتي لايجب أن يموتا.
. أمريكا أنا أمثل أبناء سكوتسبورو
أمريكا عندما كنت في السابعة من عمري
كانت أمي تصحبني إلى اجتماعات خلية الشيوعيين
كانوا يبيعوننا الحمص،
حفنة للتذكرة الواحدة
 التذكرة تكلف نيكلا
كانت الخطابات مجانية.
 كان الكل بريئا  وعاطفيا اتجاه العمال
 كان الصدق يسود كل شىء
ليست لديك أية فكرة عن طيبة الحزب
في عام 1835 كان سكوت نيرين رجلا مسنا و عظيما
كان صنديدا حقيقيا
جعلتني الأم بلورأبكي
رأيت اسرائيل أمتربسيطا ذات مرة
. من المفترض أن يكون كل شخص جاسوسا
. أمريكا أنت لا تريدين حقا أن تذهبي إلى الحرب
. أمريكا انهم هؤلاء الروس الخبثاء
. هؤلاء الروس، هؤلاء الروس وهؤلاء الصنيون
. هؤلاء الروس
روسيا تريد أن تأكلنا  ونحن على قيد الحياة.
سلطة روسيا مجنونة
تريد أن تأخذ سياراتنا  من مرائبنا
تريد اللاستيلاء على شيكاغو.
 تحتاج الى مجلة ريدرز دايدجيست حمراء.
تريد أن تنقل مصانع سياراتنا الى سيبيريا..
. البيروقراطية الكبرى تشغل محطات غازنا
هذا شيء تشمئز له النفوس!
آ آ آ آ آ  آخ!
. روسيا تريد أن تعلم الهنود الحمر القراءة
  روسيا تحتاج الى الزنوج الأقوياء.
أأأأه! تريد أن تجعلنا نعمل ستة عشر ساعة كل يوم.
النجدة!
. أمريكا هذا أمر خطير جدا
. أمريكا هذا هو الانطباع الذي أحس به من خلال مشاهدة التلفاز
أمريكا هل هذا صحيح؟
. من الأفضل لي أن أتوجه مباشرة إلى العمل
فأنا لا أريد الانضمام إلى الجيش
أو إيقاف المخارط في مصانع الأجزاء الدقيقة،
. أنا على أي حال قصرالبصر ومريض نفسيا
 أمريكا، أنا أضع كتفي العليل على العجلة.

- بيركلي، 17 يناير 1956
من ديوان 1947-1980 لألين جينسبيرج، الذي نشرته هاربر ورو

حقوق الطبع والنشر © 1984 لألين جينسبيرج


Here, while we're on the subject of the poem, Raymond Federman's French translation.

and here's a representative Spanish translation by Cristobal Joannon.  


This page (we've featured it before) features not only French and Spanish but German and Portuguese.

Here's a perennial favorite (Allen's reading mixed with "Closing Time" by Tom Waits).

Here's the poem being declaimed in Lithuanian!