Allen Ginsberg Teaches The Tempest
Found at Open Culture:
Like so many great poets, Allen Ginsberg composed extemporaneously as he spoke, in erudite paragraphs, reciting lines and whole poems from memory—in his case, usually the poems of William Blake. In a 1966 Paris Reviewinterview, for example, he discusses and quotes Blake at length, concluding “The thing I understood from Blake was that it was possible to transmit a message through time that could reach the enlightened.” Eight years later, Ginsberg would begin to midwife this concept as a teacher at the newly-founded Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Ginsberg taught summer workshops at the school from 1974 until the end of his life, eventually spending the remainder of the year in a full-time position at Brooklyn College. The Internet Archive hosts recordings of many of these workshops, such as his lectures on 19th Century Poetry, Jack Kerouac, Spiritual Poetics, and Basic Poetics. In the audio lectures here, from August 1980, Ginsberg teaches a four-part course on Shakespeare’s The Tempest (parts one and two above, three and four below), a play he often returned to for reference in his own work.