Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Allen Ginsberg at SGWU (Montreal) 1969 (Angkor Wat)

Yesterday, we drew your attention to Robert Creeley's 1967 reading at SGWU (Sir George Williams University, Montreal), today we spotlight Allen's 1969 reading from that location (introduced by George Bowering), notable, not the least, for a renditon of the important "middle-sized" poem (to give Allen's reductive description of it), "Angkor Wat" ("I haven't read it through but once before" (he declares). "What it is, is notations taken down in the course of one night in Cambodia, in Siem Reap, which is outside of Angkor Wat, a town outside of the ruins"). He follows this with a short poem, "Understand That This is a Dream", which he wrote in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), the week prior to that.
The remainder of the reading is a performance of Blake Songs - "Introduction (Songs of Innocence)", "The Shepherd", "The Echoing Green", "The Little Boy Lost", "The Little Boy Found", "The Blossom", "Introduction (Songs of Experience)", "The Voice of the Ancient Bard" and "The Laughing Song".
The reading begins with a Hare Krishna chant.
The reading is available on the SGWU site in two segments here and here 

Lars Movin's "video notebook" on the poem (with sections of the poem read by Lawrence Weiner) is also well-worth finding. A transcript from that video evocation is available here.

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