Charles Olson Poems

Charles Olson (1910-1970) was an influential American poet and essayist. He coined the term “postmodern” in poetry and advocated for “Projective Verse,” emphasizing the poet’s breath and organic form.

His epic work “The Maximus Poems” explored American history. Olson’s ideas and experimental style influenced poets like Robert Creeley and Denise Levertov, shaping postmodern American poetry.

The Distances

by Charles Olson

‘The Distances’ by Charles Olsen present a complex, haunting meditation on the darker sides of love.

Charles Olson was a poet, an essayist, and an academic. He is noted for his experimental verse, his association with the Black Mountain school, and his critical and theoretical output. Olson first made a name for himself with Call Me Ismahel (1947), a study of Moby Dick, but the work he is best known for is The Maximus Poems, a postmodern epic that appeared in several installments. This poem is a fantastic example of his work, its complexity, and its beauty. It's a great starting point for someone interested in exploring his writing.

I wake you,

stone. Love this man.

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