"I have assumed a great deal in the selection of the poems from such a large and various number, making them a discourse unavoidably my own as well as any Olson himself might have chosen to offer. I had finally no advice but the long held habit of our using one another, during his life, to act as a measure, a bearing, an unabashed response to what either might write or say."—Robert Creeley
A seminal figure in post-World War II literature, Charles Olson has helped define the postmodern sensibility. His poetry embraces themes of empowering love, political responsibility, the wisdom of dreams, the intellect as a unit of energy, the restoration of the archaic, and the transformation of consciousness—all carried in a voice both intimate and grand, American and timeless, impassioned and coolly demanding.
In this selection of some 70 poems, Robert Creeley has sought to present a personal reading of Charles Olson's decisive and inimitable work—"unequivocal instances of his genius"—over the many years of their friendship.