Selected Poems of Charles Olson

ISBN-10: 0520212320

ISBN-13: 9780520212329

Edition: 1997

Authors: Charles Olson, Robert Creeley

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"I have assumed a great deal in the selection of the poems from such a large and various number, making them a discourse unavoidably my own as well as any Olson himself might have chosen to offer. I had finally no advice but the long held habit of our using one another, during his life, to act as a measure, a bearing, an unabashed response to what either might write or say."--Robert Creeley A seminal figure in post-World War II literature, Charles Olson has helped define the postmodern sensibility. His poetry embraces themes of empowering love, political responsibility, the wisdom of dreams, the intellect as a unit of energy, the restoration of the archaic, and the transformation of consciousness--all carried in a voice both intimate and grand, American and timeless, impassioned and coolly demanding. In this selection of some 70 poems, Robert Creeley has sought to present a personal reading of Charles Olson's decisive and inimitable work--"unequivocal instances of his genius"--over the many years of their friendship.
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Book details

List price: $28.95
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 12/1/1997
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 246
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.210
Language: English

The "elder statesman" of the Black Mountain school of poets, Charles Olson directly affected the work of fellow teachers Robert Duncan and Robert Creeley, as well as students including John Wieners, Jonathan Williams, Joel Oppenheimer, and Edward Dorn. In his Selected Writings (1967), Olson emphasizes "how to restore man to his "dynamic.' There is too much concern, he feels, with end and not enough with instant. It is not things that are important, but what happens between them. . . . He thinks of poetry as transfers of energy and he reminds us that dance is kinesis, not mimesis" (N.Y. Times). Human Universe and Other Essays is a collection of interesting pieces on subjects ranging from Homer to Yeats. Proprioception is one of Olson's seminal essays on verse and the poet's awareness. Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Olson attended Wesleyan, Harvard, and Yale Universities. He taught at Harvard University and Clark and Black Mountain colleges. He received two Guggenheim Fellowships and a grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation to study Mayan hieroglyphs in the Yucatan. His involvement with early Indian societies stimulated his interest in mysticism and the drug culture.

Robert Creeley was born in Arlington, Massachusetts, on May 21, 1926. He attended Harvard University and served in the American Field Service in India and Burma during World War II. In 1960, he received a Master's Degree from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. He taught at Black Mountain College, an experimental arts college in North Carolina, and was the editor of the Black Mountain Review. During his lifetime, he published more than sixty books of poetry including For Love: Poems 1950-1960, The Finger, Later, Mirrors, Memory Gardens, Echoes, Life and Death, and If I Were Writing This. In 1960, he won the Levinson Prize for a group of 10 poems published in Black Mountain Review. He also won the Shelley Memorial Award in 1981, the Frost Medal in 1987, and the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award. He served as New York State Poet Laureate from 1989 to 1991. He also wrote the novel The Island and a collection of short stories entitled The Gold Diggers. He edited several books including Charles Olson's Selected Poems, The Essential Burns, and Whitman: Selected Poems. He taught English at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He died on March 30, 2005 at the age of 78.

Preface
Move Over
La Chute
The Kingfishers
At Yorktown
In Cold Hell, in Thicket
For Sappho, Back
The Moon Is the Number 18
To Gerhardt, There, Among Europe's Things of Which He Has Written Us in His "Brief an Creeley und Olson"
The Ring of
An Ode on Nativity
The Thing Was Moving
Merce of Egypt
The Death of Europe
A Newly Discovered 'Homeric' Hymn
"The chain of memory is resurrection . . ."
As the Dead Prey Upon Us
Variations Done for Gerald Van De Wiele
The Librarian
Moonset, Gloucester, December 1, 1957, 1:58 AM
The Song
The Distances
Crossed-Legged, the Spider and the Web
May 31, 1961
The Lamp
"As snow lies on the hill . . ."
"the Heart is a clock . . ."
Maximus, to himself
The Twist
a Plantation a beginning
Maximus, to Gloucester
Some Good News
John Burke
April Today Main Street
MAXIMUS, FROM DOGTOWN - I
Maximus to Gloucester, Letter 27 [withheld]
Maximus Letter # whatever
Maximus, at the Harbor
A Later Note on Letter # 15
CHRONICLES
THE GULF OF MAINE
"And now let all the ships come in . . ."
"'at the boundary of the mighty world' . . ."
"I looked up and saw . . ."
"having descried the nation . . ."
"Main Street / is deserted . . ."
"Imbued / with the light . . ."
West Gloucester
Stevens song
Maximus to himself June 1964
COLE'S ISLAND
Maximus, in Gloucester Sunday, LXV
"Swimming through the air, in schools upon the highways . . ."
Maximus of Gloucester
"I have been an ability - a machine . . ."
"Bottled up for days . . ."
Got me home, the light snow gives the air, falling
"When do poppies bloom . . ."
"The hour of evening . . ."
"The boats' lights in the dawn now going so swiftly . . ."
"Out of the light of Heaven . . ."
Hotel Steinplatz, Berlin, December 25 (1966)
Celestial evening, October 1967
The Telesphere
"Added to / making a Republic . . ."
"Wholly absorbed . . ."
"I live underneath / the light of day . . ."
"the Blow is Creation . . ."
Index of First Lines
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