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Robert Duncan

Readings

Rare recording of Robert Duncan's songs and early poetry, 1951

Complete Recording (Beginning audio is distorted, but improves into the reading.)
Part 1 (24:54):
MP3
Part 2 (44:14): MP3

Robert Duncan reading his poems, Berkeley, CA, March 22, 1952

from
the Lee Anderson Collection at the Beinecke Library, Yale University
  1. Unkingd by Affection (1:25): MP3
  2. Africa Revisited (9:18): MP3
  3. Five Pieces (1:57): MP3
  4. Hero Song (1:08): MP3
  5. An Imaginary Woman (1:23): MP3
  6. The Dreamers (2:04): MP3
  7. The Helmet of Goliath (2:27): MP3
  8. The Kingdom of Jerusalem (1:56): MP3
  9. The Mirror (2:24): MP3
  10. The Reaper (1:33): MP3
  11. Huon of Bordeaux (1:01): MP3
  12. The Albigenses (2:05): MP3
Complete Recording (29:28): MP3

Reading and discussion of "Often I am Permitted" at the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University, May 18, 1959

Text of poem

Complete Reading (1:01:41): MP3

Often I Am Permitted (2:00): MP3

Original recording by the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University. PennSound publication made with thanks to the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University for their archival work.

Reading in Vancouver, British Columbia, 1961

  • July 23 Reading (3:05:22): MP3
  • July 24 Reading (3:32:11): MP3
  • July 25 Reading (3:10:17): MP3

Reading in Vancouver, British Columbia, July 26, 1963

  1. The Question (3:01): MP3
  2. Structure of Rime 9 (2:11): MP3
  3. Structure of Rime 10 (1:41): MP3
  4. Structure of Rime 11 (1:31): MP3
  5. Ingmar Bergman's Seventh Seal (2:15): MP3
  6. Apprehensions (17:35): MP3
  7. Come Let Me Free Myself (1:39): MP3
  8. Risk (4:44): MP3
  9. Structure of Rime: "Back to the figure..." (4:34): MP3
  10. Osiris and Set (4:31): MP3
  11. Two Presentations (5:46): MP3
  12. A Song of the Old Order (4:04): MP3
  13. Witch's Song (from Faust Foutu: A Comic Masque) (3:26): MP3
  14. Opening: On A Set of Romantic Hymns - To Michael McClure and Percy Bysshe Shelley (1:28): MP3
  15. A Set of Romantic Hymns (8:38): MP3
  16. Sonnet 1(2:53): MP3
  17. Sonnet 2 (0:57): MP3
  18. Sonnet 3, from Dante's Sixth Sonnet (0:53): MP3
  19. Sonnet 4 (1:34): MP3
  20. Opening: On the Pindar poem and Apprehensions (1:16): MP3
  21. Witch's Song from Faust Foutu (repeated) (2:16): MP3
  22. A Poem Beginning with a Line from Pindar (12:12): MP3

Complete Reading (1:34:05): MP3

Reading at the University of British Columbia, August 5, 1963

Complete Reading (2:02:38): MP3

Reading in Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 29, 1964

  1. Introduction and Opening: On the Open Field (5:17): MP3
  2. Roots and Branches (1:18): MP3
  3. What Do I Know of the Old Law? (3:23): MP3
  4. Opening: On Publication and the Floating Bear (2:26): MP3
  5. Afterthought (4:47): MP3
  6. Opening: Play in H.D. Book (1:09): MP3
  7. "What Time of Day Is It?..." (6:53): MP3
  8. Opening: On "Passages" (The Cantos and Spring & All) (3:50): MP3
  9. Passages (7:33): MP3
  10. A Song of the Old Order (2:48): MP3
  11. Witch's Song (from Faust Foutu: A Comic Masque) (3:29): MP3
  12. Complete Reading (44:07): MP3

At the Berkeley Poetry Conference, 1965

  1. Often I am Permitted to Return to a Meadow (from The Opening of the Field) (1:08): MP3
  2. Structure of Rime 9 (from The Opening of the Field) (2:03): MP3
  3. Structure of Rime 10 (from The Opening of the Field) (1:38): MP3
  4. Structure of Rime 11 (from The Opening of the Field) (1:13): MP3
  5. Apprehensions (from Roots and Branches) (17:02): MP3
  6. Osiris and Set (from Roots and Branches) (2:54): MP3
  7. A Poem Beginning with a Line by Pindar (from The Opening of the Field) (11:14): MP3
  8. The Continent (from Windings) (4:30): MP3
  9. The Multiversity (from Groundwork, Vol. 1) (4:04): MP3

Reading From Passages in Berkeley, March 6, 1970

  1. Introduction by David Bromige & "This Place Rumored to Have Been Sodom" & Passages 1-10 (48:23): MP3
  2. Passages 11-13 (25:18): MP3
  3. Passage 14 (29:03): MP3

(recording courtesy of Ron Silliman)

Reading at the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University, December 12, 1972

  1. Poetry, a Natural Thing (2:46): MP3
  2. Spark from this Flint by von Heartstruck (3:46): MP3
  3. Opening: Eliot & the Metaphysical Poets (3:34): MP3
  4. Being Imitations, Derivations, and Varitations upon Certain Conceits and Findings Made Among Hard Lines (0:52): MP3
  5. From Sir Walter Raleigh's "What Is Our life?" (3:43): MP3
  6. From Thomas Suttle's "The Burning Babe" (5:33): MP3
  7. From George Herbet's "Jordan I" (2:47): MP3
  8. From George Herbert's "Jordan II" (1:26): MP3
  9. Passages 36 (False Start and Tape Change) (1:12): MP3
  10. Passages 36 (Complete) (6:39): MP3
  11. Despair in Being Tedious (4:20): MP3
  12. Opening : On "Over There" (3:28): MP3
  13. Over There (4:26): MP3
  14. Structured of Rime 28: In Memoriam Wallace Stevens (3:23): MP3

Complete Reading (48:46): MP3

Reading at the Woodberry Poetry Room, Harvard College Library, 1977

  1. Introduction by Jim Randall (1:42): MP3
  2. Toward His Malaise (from "To Master Baudelaire") (7:39): MP3
  3. Among His Words (from "To Master Baudelaire") (1:42): MP3
  4. The Face (from "To Master Baudelaire") (2:13): MP3
  5. A Glimpse (4:04): MP3
  6. And Hell is the Realm of God's Self-Loathing (0:40): MP3
  7. O! (3:52): MP3
  8. Childhood's Retreat (1:27): MP3
  9. Structure of Rime XXVIII: In Memoriam Wallace Stevens (3:22): MP3
  10. A Little Language (from "Dante Etudes") (7:01): MP3
  11. To Speak My Mind (from "Dante Etudes") (1:29): MP3
  12. Everything Speaks to Me (from "Dante Etudes") (2:14): MP3
  13. My Soul Was as if Free (from "Dante Etudes") (3:59): MP3
  14. Nor Dream in Your Hearts (from "Dante Etudes") (1:20): MP3
  15. For the Sea is God's (from "Dante Etudes") (1:52): MP3
  16. Where the Fox of This Stench Sulks (from "Dante Etudes") (3:34): MP3
  17. In Truth Does She Breathe Out Poisonous Fumes (from "Dante Etudes") (1:36): MP3
  18. Then Many a One Sang (from "Dante Etudes") (1:23): MP3
  19. In My Youth Not Unstained (from "Dante Etudes") (1:49): MP3
  20. And a Wisdom as Such (from "Dante Etudes") (1:24): MP3
  21. Of Memory (from "Four Supplementary Etudes") (3:23): MP3
  22. Hers (from "Four Supplementary Etudes") (0:58): MP3
  23. I Too Trembling (from "Four Supplementary Etudes") (1:11): MP3
  24. In the South (from "An Alternate Life") (9:39): MP3
  25. Home Coming (from "An Alternate Life") (4:17): MP3
  26. Supplication (from "An Alternate Life") (4:55): MP3
  27. Quotidian (from "An Alternate Life") (8:10): MP3
  28. Closing Remarks (0:24): MP3

Special thanks to the Woodberry Poetry Room, Harvard University for providing these recordings.

Lectures at the Olson Memorial, March 1979

Reading on "Wind and Sea, Fire and Water" at the American Psychoanalytic Society, November 23, 1980

Complete Reading (1:24:09): MP3

Lectures on Walt Whitman, New College, June 11-18, 1981

Recordings provided courtesy of David Levi Strauss

June 11, 1981

  • Part One (2:52:22): MP3

June 16, 1981

  • Part Two (2:55:12): MP3

June 18, 1981

  • Part Three (2:44:11): MP3

Lectures on Emily Dickinson, New College, June 23-July 2, 1981

Recordings provided courtesy of David Levi Strauss.

June 23, 1981

  • Part One (3:08:42): MP3

June 30, 1981

  • Part Two (2:54:31): MP3

July 2, 1981

  • Part Three (2:51:53): MP3

Reading in Buffalo, 1982

  • Preamble (17:54): MP3
  • 1. "The Dignities," the imagination, nationhood, Christendom and Dante's Divine Comedy (6:20): MP3
    2. Ludwig Wittgenstein, being a "poet of the spirit," and being a "Christian non-Christian" (4:52): MP3
    3. language mysticism and prayer (6:40): MP3

  • Reading
  • 1. The Dignities (18:07): MP3
    2. from Passages: Stimmung (7:28): MP3
    3. from Passages: Enthralled (3:27): MP3
    4. from Passages: Quand le Grand Foyer Descend Dans les Eaux (2:50): MP3
    5. from Passages: In Blood's Domain (6:00): MP3
    6. After Passage (5:19): MP3
    7. Seams (2:45): MP3
    8. The Five Songs (16:35): MP3
    complete reading (1:02:08): MP3
    *all poems read, with the exception of The Five Songs, appear in the "The Regulators" sequence of Passages, from Ground Work II: In the Dark.

  • Sermon (21:02): MP3

Reading with Michael McClure at SFSU, February 16, 1983

  1. Robert Duncan: introductory remarks (2:38): MP3
  2. Robert Duncan: Walking on Kearny Street (1:03): MP3
  3. Robert Duncan: Descriptions of Imaginary Poetries (3:30): MP3
  4. Robert Duncan: Stuff ark mower bottle (1:24): MP3
  5. Michael McClure: And cold tired empty to be so spread in air (1:29): MP3
  6. Michael McClure: La Plus Blanche (1:01): MP3
  7. Michael McClure: Mad Sonnet (1:07): MP3
  8. Michael McClure: We're in the middle of a deep cloud (0:44): MP3
  9. Robert Duncan: RE- (2:06): MP3
  10. Michael McClure: Cousin to the mole and mold (2:03): MP3
  11. Michael McClure: Ode to Jackson Pollock (3:38): MP3
  12. Robert Duncan: A Set of Romantic Hymns (13:00): MP3
  13. Michael McClure: A Fantasy and Courtly Poem (1:37): MP3
  14. Michael McClure: Yes Table (1:46): MP3
  15. Michael McClure: Rant Block (4:18): MP3
  16. Robert Duncan: A Poem of Despondencie (3:56): MP3
  17. Michael McClure: The Rains of February (1:49): MP3
  18. Michael McClure: How beautiful gravity is (1:20): MP3
  19. Michael McClure: How beautiful gravity is (second reading) (0:28): MP3
  • Complete Reading (49:38): MP3 (There is a five-second break at around 44:00 where the tape turned.)

    The Opening of the Field (date and location unknown)

    • part one (29:23): MP3
    • part two (29:23): MP3

    Reading and Discussing His Work (date and location unknown)

    Complete Rearding (16:34): MP3

  • Lectures

    Lecture on Ezra Pound

    • part one (45:41): MP3
    • part two (45:26): MP3

    "Romeo and Juliet as a Mystery Play," UC Berkeley, February 8, 1972

    complete recording (1:45:01): MP3

    "Physics and Literature," Miriam College, 1978

    complete recording (1:00:10): MP3

    "The Adventure of Whitman's Line," recorded February 18, 1979

    Lectures at the Zen Center, recorded 2/10/1980-3/9/1980

    "Beginning with Sordello..." recorded March 30, 1980

    complete recording (1:39:45):
    MP3

    Reading of Various Poems at Intersection, recorded March 24, 1981

    1. introductory remarks (3:06): MP3
    2. The Dignities (11:07): MP3
    3. The First (6:35): MP3
    4. Stimmung (7:07): MP3
    5. Enthralled (3:03): MP3
    6. Quand le Grand Foyer Descends dans les Eaux (6:21): MP3
    7. Blood's Domain (4:50): MP3
    8. After This Passage (3:35): MP3
    9. With In (0:59): MP3
    10. From the Fall of 1950 December 1980 (4:36): MP3
    complete reading (51:51): MP3

    "On Olson and Projective Verse," New College, February 17, 1982

    complete recording (2:21:27):
    MP3

    "Another Look at Imagism," recorded March 31, 1983 at University of Maine, Orono

    • part one (46:35): MP3
      1. Hulme, the beginning of Imagism, and the Neoplatonic idea of what an image is (5:47): MP3
      2. accurate presentation in Hulme v. later Imagist poems (2:58): MP3
      3. the mystery of what Imagism was (6:10): MP3
      4. Flint's description of Imagism from the March 1913 issue of Poetry (5:58): MP3
      5. evocation, the nature of the magic image, the presence of the idea, and the manifestation of divine forces (12:09): MP3
      6. Pound, rhythm and the intellectual and emotional complex (4:12): MP3
      7. simplex/complex split between Impressionist Imagism and Pound's Imagism (4:02): MP3
      8. Eliot's etherized patient as a memorable image, his conversion to the Anglo-Catholic Church, and world poetry (5:10): MP3
    • part two (46:41): MP3
    • part three (30:46): MP3
    • (recording courtesy of Rachel Blau DuPlessis)

    Seminar on H.D., 1986

    • part one (46:42): MP3
      1. the drive to wreck the Christian tradition (5:10): MP3
      2. mystery in Imagist poems and Yeats' turn to philosophy (4:04): MP3
      3. what arouses the poet to write and H.D.'s interest in astrology (1:41): MP3
      4. Jung and Freud (3:18): MP3
      5. H.D.'s interest in the period at the end of the 18C and the war trilogy (3:19): MP3
      6. lore and the lure of meaning (2:04): MP3
      7. divine mystery, Robert Graves' handbook on Greek mythology, and variations on myths (8:55): MP3
      8. comparative religion and contradictory stories (4:38): MP3
      9. fictions and the matter of the poem and rarefied literature (3:18): MP3
      10. contradictions in Bible passages, the cult of Mary Magdalene, and H.D.'s use of Biblical figures (10:12): MP3
    • part two (46:12): MP3
    • part five (44:29): MP3
    • part six (44:11): MP3

    PoemTalk Podcast #27, discussing Duncan's "Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow," January 14, 2010

    Listen to the complete recording and read program notes for the episode at Jacket2.

    Reading of various poems, date and location unknown

    1. A Poem Beginning With A Line by Pindar (12:03): MP3
    2. An Owl Is An Only Bird of Poetry (4:55): MP3
    3. Apprehensions (17:18): MP3
    4. Two Presentations (5:40): MP3

    Charles Olson Memorial Lectures, date unknown

    Memorial Reading for Robert Duncan, San Jose State University, Incognito Lounge, November 1990

    1. introduction (2:44): MP3
    2. Jim Powell (12:56): MP3
    3. Aaron Shurin (12:24): MP3
    4. Leslie Scalapino (8:49): MP3
    5. David Bromige (15:01): MP3
    6. Aldon Nielsen (13:05): MP3
    7. Robert Glück (17:31): MP3
    • complete reading (1:23:42): MP3

    Robert Duncan on PennSound Daily

    These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to the author's estate. (c) 2008 by the Jess Trust. Used with permission of the Jess Trust. Distributed by PennSound.