Contemporary Olson
in Contemporary Olson
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When Charles Olson published the essay 'Projective Verse' in New York Poetry in the Spring of 1950, he issued a set of findings that had been long in development. The clearest sense of the poem as field in 'The Kingfishers' lies, as is well documented, in its use of the space of the page itself. The way Olson uses the page to produce a field of inter-related elements, thereby calling for a reading that cuts back and forth across space and time, is undoubtedly fundamental to his poetic practice. It is possible to read the poems like this, The Maximus Poems in particular, as if Olson, in his address, were delivering a lecture, either to the reader or the inhabitants of Gloucester with whom his poem would partly speak. Few twentieth-century poets have been as fortunate in the editorial commitment and calibre of scholarship they have attracted as Olson.

Editor: David Herd


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