Sunday, December 19, 2010

excerpts: from George Oppen and Charles Olson

Oppen, from section 27, "Of Being Numerous"

It is difficult now to speak of poetry ---

about those who have recognized the range of choice or
those who have lived within the life they were born to---.It
is not precisely a question of profundity but a different order
of experience. One would have to tell what happens in a life,
what choices present themselves, what the world is for us,
what happens in time, what thought is in the course of a life
and therefore what art is, and the isolation of the actual

* * * * *

One must not come to feel that he has a thousand threads in his hands,
He must somehow see the one thing;
This is the level of art
There are other levels
But there is no other level of art

Olson, from "Only the Red Fox, Only the Crow"

We shall not know, but you
remember this: the two-edged worth
of loveliness
The night's for talking and for kissing

And when, on summer field
two horses run for joy
like figures on a beach
your mind will find us,
as we have found,
within its reach.

This, then, under the leaves
or under snow,
you who come after us,
we send you for envoy:
make most of love.