Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Posts Tagged ‘Charles Olson

“It was an adventure…”

with one comment

Possibly the complex of circumstances which made the years 1950 to 1965 so decisive in the arts will not easily recur. No one can make it up, so to speak. But there were clearly years before, equally decisive, and there will no doubt be those now after. This clothesline is at best an invention of pseudohistory, and the arts do not intend to be history in this way, however much they use the traditions intimate to their practice. When [Robert] Duncan saw [Charles] Olson for the last time, in hospital a few days before his death, he said to him, “Important as history was to you, there are no followers—and as a matter of fact that isn’t what happened in poetry.” Olson grinned, and Duncan added, “It was an adventure…”

Robert Creeley, “On the Road”

Note: The ebook version of my group biography Astounding is currently on sale for $2.99. The price goes back up tomorrow, so if you’re interested in getting a copy, this would be a great time to grab it.

Written by nevalalee

December 24, 2018 at 7:30 am

The poet at the typewriter

leave a comment »

It is the advantage of the typewriter that, due to its rigidity and its space precisions, it can, for a poet, indicate exactly the breath, the pauses, the suspensions even of syllables, the juxtapositions even of parts of phrases, which he intends. For the first time the poet has the stave and the bar a musician has had. For the first time he can, without the convention of rime and meter, record the listening he has done to his own speech and by that one act indicate how he would want any reader, silently or otherwise, to voice his work.

Charles Olson, “Projective Verse”

Written by nevalalee

November 3, 2018 at 7:30 am

The useful object

leave a comment »

“Objectism” [is] a word to be taken to stand for the kind of relation of man to experience which a poet might state as the necessity of a line or a work to be as wood is, to be as clean as wood as it issues from the hand of nature, to be as shaped as wood can be when a man has had his hand to it. Objectism is the getting rid of the lyrical interference of the individual as ego, of the “subject” and his soul, that peculiar presumption by which western man has interposed himself between what he is as a creature of nature (with certain instructions to carry out) and those other creations of nature which we may, with no derogation, call objects. For man is himself an object, whatever he may take to be his advantages, the more likely to recognize himself as such the greater his advantages, particularly at that moment that he achieves an humilitas sufficient to make him of use.

Charles Olson, “Projective Verse”

Written by nevalalee

October 22, 2017 at 7:30 am

Quote of the Day

leave a comment »

Charles Olson

Let’s start from the smallest particle of all, the syllable. It is the king and pin of versification, what rules and holds together the lines, the larger forms, of a poem…Listening for the syllables must be so constant and so scrupulous, the exaction must be so complete, that the assurance of the ear is purchased at the highest—forty hours a day—price.

Charles Olson, “Projective Verse”

Written by nevalalee

July 26, 2016 at 7:30 am

%d bloggers like this: