13 Lectures from Allen Ginsberg’s “History of Poetry” Course (1975)

≡ Category: Online Courses, Poetry |2 Comments

If you want to understand poetry, ask a poet. “What is this?” you ask, “some kind of Zen saying?” Obvious, but subtle? Maybe.


Three Charles Bukowski Poems Animated

≡ Category: Animation, Poetry |2 Comments

The poetry of Charles Bukowski deeply inspires many of its readers. Sometimes it just inspires them to lead the dissolute lifestyle they think they see glorified in it, but other times it leads them to create something compelling of their own.


James Franco Reads 6 Short Poems from His New Collection

≡ Category: Creativity, Film, Poetry |13 Comments

James Franco, like Ethan Hawke before him, is one of those movie stars who gets bashed left and right for daring to behave like any other arty young man.


Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” Performed by John Cale (and Produced by Brian Eno)

≡ Category: Music, Poetry |Leave a Comment

I’ve only known a few people of Welsh heritage, and most of them have, at one time or another, looked for a way to pay tribute to their comparatively exotic ancestral homeland. Some start going by their unusual vowel-intensive middle name; others simply start reading a lot of Dylan Thomas.


Hear Patti Smith Read 12 Poems From Seventh Heaven, Her First Collection (1972)

≡ Category: Poetry |Leave a Comment

So it’s National Poetry Month, and the Academy of American Poets recommends 30 Ways to Celebrate, including some old standbys like memorizing a poem, reading a poem a day, and attending a reading. All sensible, if somewhat staid, suggestions (I myself have been re-reading all of Wallace Stevens’ work—make of that what you will).


Gustave Doré’s Splendid Illustrations of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” (1884)

≡ Category: Art, Books, Poetry |1 Comment

One of the busiest, most in-demand artists of the 19th century, Gustave Doré made his name illustrating works by such authors as Rabelais, Balzac, Milton, and Dante.


Read an Excerpt of J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1926 Translation of Beowulf Before It’s Finally Published Next Month

≡ Category: Books, Literature, Poetry |3 Comments

For the first time, J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1926 translation of the 11th century epic poem Beowulf will be published this May by HarperCollins, edited and with commentary by his son Christopher. The elder Tolkien, says his son, “seems never to have considered its publication.


Hear Allen Ginsberg’s Short Free Course on Shakespeare’s Play, The Tempest (1980)

≡ Category: Education, Poetry |Leave a Comment

Ginsberg Class One

Ginsberg Class Two

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.


Orson Welles Reads From America’s Greatest Poem, Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” (1953)

≡ Category: Literature, Poetry |Leave a Comment

Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass often makes its way into the hands of oversized American characters of, shall we say, uncertain repute.


Groucho Marx and T.S. Eliot Become Unexpected Pen Pals, Exchanging Portraits & Compliments (1961)

≡ Category: Comedy, Poetry |1 Comment

Groucho Marx and T.S. Eliot: they’ve got to rank as one of the twentieth century’s most surprising pair of pen pals. More intriguingly still, they first got in touch — as luminaries seem to do — out of the spirit of mutual admiration.


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