Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Trocchi Quote

"No doubt I shall go on writing, stumbling across tundras of unmeaning, planting words like bloody flags in my wake. Loose ends, things unrelated, shifts, nightmare journeys, cities arrived at and left, meetings, desertions, betrayals, all manner of unions, adulteries, triumphs, defeats... these are the facts. "

Alexander Trocchi

Monday, 19 February 2007

Spain 1937

"Spain 1937" by W.H.Auden

Selection:(Lines 45-56, 89-93)

And the life, if it answers at all,
replies from the heart
And the eyes and the lungs, from the shops and squares of the city:
"O no, I am not the Mover,

Not today, not to you.
To you I'm the
"Yes-man, the bar-companion, the easily-duped:
I am whatever you do; I am your vow to be Good,

your humorous story;I am your business voice;
I am your marriage.
"What's your proposal? To build the Just City? I will,
I agree. Or is it the suicide pact, the romanticDeath?

Very well, I accept, forI am your choice, your decision:
yes, I am Spain."(p. 2264)
The stars are dead; the animals will not look:
We are left alone with our day,

and the time is short and
History to the defeated
May say
Alas but cannot help or pardon. (p. 2265)

W.H. Auden's poem "Spain 1937" is a reexamination and a call to action. Like a telephoto lens, the narrative sweeps across the panorama of history, zooms in on the Spanish Civil War, focuses briefly into the future, and returns to the scene in Spain and the common realities of war. Yet, the past, present, and future are not given equal weight. Though Auden enumerates and acknowledges past achievements of civilization and admits the future may be fruitful and serene, he emphasizes the importance of the present, specifically of the outcome of Spain's Civil War, as a momentous and historical event that will in turn influence the future. And in the present, humanity must act and must struggle and not be washed passively in "Time the refreshing river" (line 36, 2264).
The author makes this idea clear in lines 45-56: History is not an autonomous flow but is created, generation by generation, by living people. Referring to the several preceding stanzas in which individuals and nations cry for providential intervention in the affairs of men, line 45 begins "And the life...replies...'O no, I am not the Mover'" and goes on "'I am whatever you do'" (line 50). A Republican victory is "To build the Just City" (line 53) while a defeat would be "the romantic Death" (line 54-5), but both are "choices." Spain is only the current landscape, among thousands of other places in the past and future where people have struggled and fought, where humanity will create its own history through conscious will and effort.
The author clearly believes the Republican cause a worthy one and the stanzas following the ones above relate how fighters from all over the world have also come to aid in the struggle. But after alluding to many possible advances and preoccupations of the future for which many may be fighting, the author again emphasizes the unglamorous realities of the moment while never questioning their necessity. The last stanza makes the point: Neither the "stars" above, nor the "animals" (and nature) over which we have dominion can aid us or are even relevant, "We are left alone with our day" (line 91) and if the Republicans fail, it will be a defeat that cannot be reversed or excused.
"Spain 1937" is an urgent call to Seize the Day, recognizing the literal and symbolic importance of the Spanish Civil War. By placing it in the context of the whole sweep of history, the poet accurately identifies the struggle between the forces of democracy and fascism as significant not only for the Spanish but for modern civilization. The poem prophetically foreshadows this struggle throughout the 20th century; it has been enacted again and again in the past decades, both within nations and between them. Many historians have speculated that had the Republicans been successful, Mussolini and Hitler might not have been so bold or so successful and history might have taken a different course. Yet the fascist tyrants were unchecked for years, and with the end of World War II, civilization entered the postmodern era where the struggle continues.
© 1995 Shirley Galloway

Wednesday, 14 February 2007


Karl Marx
Wild Songs

The Fiddler
The Fiddler saws the strings,
His light brown hair he tosses and flings.
He carries a sabre at his side,
He wears a pleated habit wide.
“Fiddler, why that frantic sound?
Why do you gaze so wildly round?

Why leaps your blood, like the surging sea?
What drives your bow so desperately?”
“Why do I fiddle? Or the wild waves roar?
That they might pound the rocky shore,
That eye be blinded, that bosom swell,
That Soul’s cry carry down to Hell.”

“Fiddler, with scorn you rend your heart.
A radiant God lent you your art,
To dazzle with waves of melody,
To soar to the star-dance in the sky.”
“How so! I plunge, plunge without fail
My blood-black sabre into your soul.
That art God neither wants nor wists,
It leaps to the brain from Hell’s black mists.

“Till heart’s bewitched, till senses reel:
With Satan I have struck my deal.
He chalks the signs, beats time for me,
I play the death march fast and free.
“I must play dark, I must play light,
Till bowstrings break my heart outright."
The Fiddler saws the strings,
His light brown hair he tosses and flings.

He carries a sabre at his side,
He wears a pleated habit wide.

II Nocturnal Love

Frantic, he holds her near,
Darkly looks in her eye."Pain so burns you, Dear,
And at my breath you sigh.
“Oh, you have drunk my soul.
Mine is your glow, in truth.
My jewel, shine your fill.
Glow, blood of youth.”

“Sweetest, so pale your face,
So wondrous strange your words.
See, rich in music’s grace
The lofty gliding worlds.”
“Gliding, dearest, gliding,
Glowing, stars, glowing.
Let us go heavenwards riding,
Our souls together flowing.”
His voice is muffled, low.

Desparate, he looks about.
Glances of crackling flame
His hollow eyes shoot out.
“You have drunk poison,
Love. With me you must away.
The sky is dark above,
No more I see the day.”

Shuddering, he pulls her close to him.
Death in the breast doth hover.
Pain stabs her, piercing deep within,
And eyes are closed forever.

Children of Albion: Poetry of the Underground in Britain

Children of Albion: Poetry of the Underground in Britain

Children of Albion: Poetry of the Underground in Britain, an anthology of poetry, was edited by Michael Horovitz and published by Penguin Books in 1969. Its appearance was a key step in the emergence to some kind of public attention of many of the poets associated with the British Poetry Revival. It was perhaps the classic 'hippie' collection of British poetry, with its self-conscious invocation of William Blake and performance poets. It has also been subject to much criticism, qua anthology of its time, both for its inclusions and exclusions.

The book
Children of Albion was published as a paperback measuring 18 cm. by 11 cm. It is 382 pages long and contains a Contents list, a dedication to Allen Ginsberg, work by 63 poets in alphabetical order of surname, an essay, 'Afterwords' by the editor, and Further Reading and Acknowledgements sections. The front cover features a detail from Glad Day, an engraving by Blake.

The poets
The poets featured in Children of Albion are:
John Arden
Peter Armstrong
Pete Brown
Jim Burns
Johnny Byrne
Charles Cameron
David Chaloner
Barry Cole
John Cotton
Andrew Crozier
Dave Cunliffe
Felix de Mendelssohn
Raymond Durgnat
Paul Evans
Ian Hamilton Finlay
Roy Fisher
Harry Guest
Lee Harwood
Michael Hastings
Spike Hawkins
Geoffrey Hazard
Piero Heliczer
Pete Hoida
Anselm Hollo
Frances Horovitz
Michael Horovitz
Libby Houston
Mark Hyatt
John James
Roger Jones
David Kerrison
Seymour King
Bernard Kops
David Kozubei
Herbert Lomas
Anna Lovell
Paul Matthews
Michael McCafferty
John McGrath
Tom McGrath
Stuart Mills
Ted Milton
Adrian Mitchell
Edwin Morgan
Tina Morris
Philip O'Connor
Neil Oram
Tom Pickard
Paul Potts
Tom Raworth
Carlyle Reedy
Bernard Saint
Michael Shayer
David Sladen
Tom Taylor
Barry Tebb
Chris Torrance
Alexander Trocchi
Gael Turnbull
Patrick Waites
Nicholas Snowden Willey
William Wyatt
Michael X

The historical context
In 1962, Penguin published Al Alvarez's anthology The New Poetry. This marked the beginnings of a backlash against what Alvarez labelled the 'gentility' of the Movement poets. Alvarez's favoured alternative were poets like Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes and others who connected with American confessional poets like Robert Lowell and John Berryman.
Meanwhile, Donald Allen's 1960 anthology, The New American Poetry 1945-1960 introduced British and other readers to a whole range of work other than the confessionals. Allen included work by the Beat generation, the Black Mountain, New York School and Deep image poets and others from outside the mainstream.
As British 1960s counterculture developed, the influence of these poets became more widespread, and many of the younger British poets began to experiment with local variants of the new poetics. Publishing outlets for the new poetry started to emerge, including Raworth's Matrix Press, and Goliard Press (which he ran with Barry Hall) and Horovitz's own New Departures magazine and press.
Contacts between poets on both sides of the Atlantic developed, culminating in the Albert Hall Poetry Incarnation on June 11, 1965, which featured readings by a range of British poets, as well as Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and others to an audience of 7,000 people. Horovitz was the main organizer of this event and this Afterwords essay makes it clear that the success of the Albert Hall happening was the inspiration for the assembly of the anthology.

Criticisms of Children of Albion
One of the main criticisms levelled at Children of Albion is that it contains work by a large number of poets who subsequently ceased writing, or at least publishing, poetry of any note. This, however, is a criticism that applies to most anthologies of contemporary poetry where the editor is attempting to give a picture of the poetic environment they inhabit.
More seriously, perhaps, the book has been criticised for omitting poets who did not share Horovitz's enthusiasms for Blake and/or performance. These include such major figures as J. H. Prynne and Veronica Forrest-Thomson. Thomson's exclusion also points to a third criticism that is frequently levelled at the book; the relative paucity of women poets included. Only five of Albion's 63 children are daughters. In Horovitz's defense, it should be pointed out that the British underground poetry scene in the mid-sixties was a male-dominated affair and that later anthologists have generally failed to 'achieve' gender parity in their representations of the period.

The Liverpool Poets

Underground Sixties radical poets

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Poets/Singers quotes on Poetry


"Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted ".
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ca Ira

Ca Ira In English

(The Song Burns liked to sing when drunk)

We Will Win!
"We will win, we will win, we will win",
The people of this day neverendingly sing"
We will win, we will win, we will win,

In spite of the traitors, all will succeed"
Our confused enemies are staying low
But we are going to sing "Alleluia!"

"We will win, we will win, we will win",
When Boileau once spoke about the clergy"
Like a prophet he predicted as much.,
By singing my ditty,With pleasure I will say:
"We will win, we will win, we will win,

In spite of the traitors, all will succeed"
"We will win, we will win, we will win,"

Punch and Judy sing at the show"
We will win, we will win, we will win,"

Let us rejoices, for the good times are coming
The French people were once nobodies
But now the aristocrats say "we are guilty"
"We will win, we will win, we will win,"

The clergy now regrets all its wealth .
Through justice the nation will have it all,
Through the wise LaFayette
All trouble will be quieted,

"We will win, we will win, we will win,
In spite of the traitors, all will succeed"
"We will win, we will win, we will win,"

The weak as well as the strong are soldiers in their souls
"We will win, we will win, we will win,"
During the war, not one will be a traitor.
With their hearts, all good Frenchmen will fight,
And when he sees a slacker, he will boldly speak up

"We will win, we will win, we will win,"
Lafayette says, "Let he who will follow me!
"And patriotism will respond,
Without fear of fire or flame.
The French will always conquer

"We will win, we will win, we will win,
In spite of the traitors, all will succeed"

"We will win, we will win, we will win,"
Let's string up the aristocrats on the lampposts!

"We will win, we will win, we will win,"
We'll string up the aristocrats!
Despotism will die,Liberty will triumph
"We will win, we will win, we will win,"

And we will no longer have nobles or priests
"We will win, we will win, we will win,"
"Equality will reign throughout the land/world
And the Austrian slave will follow it.
"We will win, we will win, we will win,"

And their hellish clique
will be sent to the devil.

Dost thou not rise....

Dost thou not rise, indignant shade,

And smile with spurning scorn,

When they wha wad hae starved thy life

Thy senseless turf adorn?


Friday, 9 February 2007

Bob Dylan Tour dates 2007

"A lot of people can't stand touring but to me it's like breathing. I do it because I'm driven to do it. "
51 Dylan Quotes

Books on Ali

Recommended Books

There are a number of biographies of Ali: Timothy Dailey, Muhammad Ali: The Greatest of All Time (1999); Thomas Hauser, Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times (1991); Larry Bortstein, ed., Ali (1977). A good memoir is by Ali's doctor, Ferdie Pacheco, Muhammad Ali: A View from the Corner (1992). Elliott Gorn, ed., Muhammad Ali, the People's Champ (1995), is a collection of papers tracing Ali's impact outside of boxing. Finally, two works by Ali himself are recommended: Ali! Ali!: The Words of Muhammed Ali (1979) and Greatest: My Own Story (1976).