The Maximus Poems

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Univ of California Press, 1983 - Literary Criticism - 652 pages
The Maximus Poems is one of the high achievements of twentieth-century American letters and an essential poem in the postmodern canon. It stands out, in Hayden Carruth's words, as "a huge and truly angelic effort," matching the dimensions of its hero's name and returning poetry to its Homeric and Hesiodic scope. This complete edition of The Maximus Poems brings together the three volumes of Charles Olson's long poem (originally published in 1960, 1968, and 1975, and long out of print) in an authoritative version edited according to the highest standards of textual criticism. Errors in the previous editions have been corrected, twenty-nine new poems added, and the sequence of the final poems modified in the light of the editor's research among the poet's papers. --University of California Press.

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About the author (1983)

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.

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