Litkicks Message Board Archive


Posted to Utterances

really, i plunged into headaches..i checked all the titles first lines read diagonals thru more than 900 pages and me silly idiot couldn't find it, neither in the collected poems nor in Kaddish reality sandwiches planet news fall of America - not even in cosmopolitan greetings, and it's only ginsberg's last volume of poems that i don't have - but maybe i got too dizzy and blind filing checking, in the dentist's waiting room (she's a real sadist, love it..), this rain-rush morning, then hiding the big collection from my boss during work - read SOO many great cascades plasmas glass labyrinths of spermy poems which otherwise would have been left waiting - thanks -
but sorry, couldN'T find it ....
maybe this can help SOMEhow, maybe indirectly
(or is there more information..?): :

The Oracle of Pythagoras, once the Oracle of Delphi [Delphi, Greece] where Apollo took questions from his minions.
Obviously, "He" did not last long enough to take the tough questions.
Chris Knott & Alexander Jacobsen wrote:
Did you really say "When the mode of the music changes, the walls of the city shake?' and if so, where?"
Pythagoras:No, I did not say or write that. It sounds like your question a lyric to a song with a "deep meaning?" If so, what is it about? Anything profound?
In old Greece, no words were sung that had no meaning, except for the words of madmen in tragedies and comedies / satires, but the meaning was the irrationality.
Chris Knott & Alexander Jacobsen wrote:
Thanks for getting back to me on this. ALLEN GINSBERG changed it a bit, but I found the basis for it in Plato's Republic, Book IV.
Pythagoras: That does sound and feel like something Plato said, and it is not surprising. Plato avidly criticized the 'cultural revolution' at the fall of Athens in the 3rd century B.C. Plato advocated the status quo, which was the classical form. Though the Hellenists did have their day and lasting impact, the classical form is still evident in the modern Greek folk music. The modes or "modules of a scale" were the main element of expression for the Greek music.
"Plato via Ginsberg" seems ironic in that context, but not, of course, in the larger framework of Plato's "world of innate ideas".
Chris Knott & Alexander Jacobsen wrote:The reason I was trying to source the quote was because it appeared on a station wall in Essex, in England, in the mid to late sixties. It's still there, although it's faded so much it's illegible now. GINSBERG FIRST USED IT in a magazine article in 1961(although he also used it in an annotation to his 1956 poem 'Howl' - but the annotations were provided later.) In 1967 it appeared as part of a cartoon illustra-tion on the cover of Issue # 9 of the International Times and in 1968 Tuli Kupferberg of the Fugs used it as the title of a track on the album "It crawled into my hand, honest". It was Tuli Kupferberg who said in an interview that you had said it first! But others, including GINSBERG suggested it was Plato. I hadn't read Plato since I studied English and Politics at University and without a kindly on-line Plato to help me out, I went back to the Republic and in Book IV found "when modes of music change, fundamental laws of the State always change with them."
Pythagoras: Thank you for that poignant bit of "merging historical consciousness." That Plato idea plays an active role in the current critique of culture. A book titled, "The Secret Power Of Music" by a British social critic and historian David Tames book is a seminal Neo-Plato critique of our current music in popular and art cultures. Tame writes only that culture drives social morality, whereas the Plato statements goes further by emphasizing that culture affects leadership as well.

FERLINGHETTI’s most recent book of poems, How to Paint Sunlight, was just released in paperback by New Directions Books. The poems included in this collection were written between 1997 and 2000. According to the poet, “All I ever wanted to do was paint light on the walls of life. These poems are another attempt to do it.” Many of the poems deal with light in some form, fashion, application or particular place. The book also includes poems written about the death of his close friend ALLEN GINSBERG; a group of New York City poems; and a POEM written for the Greek ORACLE of DELPHI as part of UNESCO’s 2001 World Poetry Day. Its cover picture is an oil painting, by the author, of a human figure with birds perching on its shoulders and rising from its feet.