Good Vibes

September 4, 2016 § 1 Comment


I. DESPITE

despite his
education,
or
because of it,
Olson uses

a populist-Yankee-professorial
style
which leads him
into
over-

simplification and vulgarity.
‘Projective Verse’
grafts on
to a
lucubrated

and confused disc-
ussion of the old
form-
content
question                                                                                                                                             (form

is an ‘extension of
content’)
a more original
but
insufficiently worked out

notion
of                                                                         poetry-as-
spoken-
voice,                          syllable,                                                breath:

‘all the thots [sic] men are capable of can be entered on the back of a postage stamp. So, it is not the PLAY of a mind we are after, it is not that that shows whether a mind is there at all?’

Olson does not
acknowledge
any
unknown factor in
poetry:

he is telling us how
to do
it,
which
is
intolerable.


II. VIBES

As to the poetry:
there is a
noisy,
rhetorical,
busily

egotistical combination of
Williams
and
Pound,

irritating in its
typewriter-graphical                                             wildness,
and with print almost
always
trying to ape

voice.

One
can only
say that inside the great earnest
framework
there are

some light,
domestic,
humorous
passages that express
the relaxed private

man. . . .

So, Olson
is this: the prophet of a new
American
fashion,
of which his

disciple
Creeley is the (now
declining)
leader: the projection
of personality

through
performance of
what is called
poetry. This is
not

the same as
‘poetry
reading’, since
the vast
maj-

ority
of the audiences do
not
read
the words

delivered at

all –
if they
do
then they
look at
them

as film-
fans
look at
photographs
of stars:

to be
thrilled,
and get
good
vibes.

p.265, Who’s Who In Twentieth Century Literature by Martin Seymour-Smith (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1976)

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