Monday, 26 October 2009

Re: The Maximus Poems

I was reading "polis is / eyes" and hearing again that notion that place is a way to see, that what we do when we write about place is, first of all, see.

I really like the frontnote about the "glyph": the Figure of Outward (we are told) striding forth from the domain of the infinitely small. I'll take that as an invitation to keep working from the specifics, which Olson and Williams and Marlatt and Nichol all do in their long poems. (The small but also the mythic--the Maximus, the saints, the Giants. Marlatt is different that way, but her river, like Williams' Passaic Falls, is mythic enough on its own.)

Reading Olson's poem, I'm reminded again that after the "accumulation" Robert Kroetsch spoke of at the SWG conference, the finding of form is like that "striding", that movement through/into/over the accumulated material. I must be careful, as I accumulate my Hillsdale material, not to get lazy: too passive, not enough striding.

I look forward to another session with Olson this afternoon.

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