“eventsin the cosmosare as the crystalsin the genethe treewhich emergesis the multifoliateroseLoveisGod”
… Duncan’s creative practice nourished an approach to writing that, with Olson, struggled to articulate a new basis for poetics; their shared goal was to reestablish the uses of poetry beyond the domain of literature to confront a larger cultural and historical field of action.
–Berthoff & Smith, An Open Map: The Correspondence of Robert Duncan and Charles Olson, “Introduction: Love and the Idea of Form.” 1.
…a central element of his poetic stance: individuals are secondary in the permitted documentations of the energy sustained by an acknowledged flow or movement of perception. The goal is to see out into a world glimpsed only fleetingly. To hold closely to one’s wisdom is to separate from that outer force of the world, to be entrapped by confidence and identification rather than to be in submission to outside forces or observable facts. “Doesn’t it honestly,” Olson argues,
come to, to love? that all springs up, there? And that what springs up is energy, with which to do anything, think (which is to be wise), cut wood (& i mean for no other reason than to keep warm), push something, ahead, make it different, etc., anything, all that all the vocabulary—the words you seek to make gnomic by doublet—are valid enuf as reductive (that is, that they do analyze validly the worlds love opens one’s eyes to.
[Gnomic: used to describe something spoken or written that is short, mysterious, and not easily understood, but often seems wise…
brusque, concise, cryptic, curt, elliptical, incisive, laconic, pithy, precise, succinct, trenchant, abrupt, aphoristic, boiled down, breviloquent, clear-cut, clipped, close, compact, compendious.
Doublet: set of two identical or similar things; one of two or more words (such as guard and ward) in the same language derived by different routes of transmission from the same source.
In November–December 1959, Olson writes:
in the cosmos
are as the crystals
in the gene
is the multifoliate
For Olson, the cosmos establishes relation; it moves attention away from individual concerns to include an acknowledgment of the interaction of dynamic energies. The pursuit of his studies increasingly occupies Olson’s attention, particularly as the winter solstice approaches…