You can watch Polis Is This about poet Charles Olson at
http://www.polisisthis.com/ . I have an interest in Olson's work for many reasons.
One: He was born in my hometown in Massachusetts along with other notable poets such as Stanley Kunitz and Elizabeth Bishop.
Two: I love Gloucester, Massachusetts. The Maximus Poems were inspired by Olson's love of Gloucester.Gloucester is a beautiful place even though it has changed dramatically in the last four decades. Going to Gloucester on a day trip when I was a teenager was like going to a new world where nature ruled. The air was clean. There was an abundance of light. I felt invigorated. The smell of the sea and the fish, the weathered buildings, the fishing boats, the ocean, the quaintness of it all spoke of another time when people lived off the land, respected it and had roots in community. It was this sense of an enclosed community that held onto tradition that intrigued me.
Three: Olson believed in people's ability to shape their world.
Four: It seems he didn't care what people thought of him ( he was a bit eccentric) and he was humble. He was outspoken, eccentric yet humble. Hmm. Seems like a contradiction. I gathered this from the film Polis Is This.
Five: He had a station wagon that had no reverse. When asked why, he said no one should go backward in life.
I often think that many great poets are like mystic sages, visionaries or teachers who show things to us we do not see because we do not have the capacity or sensitivity to see things as they are in this world. Or because we are stuck in our solo vision of things. Olson gives the people who read his work a different view of what people can achieve.
Info on Charles Olson
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Charles Olson (27 December 1910 – 10 January 1970), was an important 2nd generation American modernist poet who was a crucial link between earlier figures like Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams and the New American poets, a rubric which includes the New York School, the Black Mountain School, the Beat poets, and the San Francisco Renaissance. Subsequently, many postmodern groups, such as the poets of the Language School, include Olson as a primary and precedent figure. He is credited as one of the thinkers who coined the term postmodern. Across the Atlantic, these various poetic movements have exerted a deep and ongoing influence on an important array of alternative and experimental writers, including Roy Fisher, Edwin Morgan, and Geoffrey Hill, behind whose works lurks Olson's ghost of language-driven inventiveness."
Info on poems from poets.org "He began work on his opus, The Maximus Poems, in the mid-1940s, and continued to expand and revise them until his death in 1970. Formally similar to Ezra Pound's Cantos, the Maximus poems are, in Olson's words, "about a person and a place."