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Jacket 15 — December 2001   |   # 15  Contents   |   Homepage   |   Catalog   |

Kenneth Koch and Allen Ginsberg

Popeye and William Blake Fight to the Death

This is an eight-minute edited RealAudio recording of a good-natured (indeed, hilarious) rhyming contest between Kenneth Koch and Allen Ginsberg at St Mark's Poetry Project, New York City, 9 May 1979. The form chosen for the tale of Popeye’s titanic clash with the great English poet William Blake was the ballad, and each contestant had to improvise alternate rhyming lines in real time in front of a live audience.

What did Wordsworth say?

Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven!

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The original recording was a production of The Poetry Project at St Mark's Church, 131 East 10th Street, New York NY 10003, USA. It was made available in 1981 (remember 1981?) as a vinyl double-LP titled The World Record, featuring fifty-six audio recordings of various poets including John Ashbery, Amiri Baraka, Robert Creeley, Edwin Denby, F.T.Prince, Charles Reznikoff, John Wieners and many others. Record Editors: Bill Berkson and Bob Rosenthal; Tape Archivists: Harvey Lillywhite and Kate Baum; Sound Technicans: Kurt Munkacsi and Bob Rosenthal; Producion: ERH.

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