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Charles Olson

Studio Recording at Black Mountain College, made by Robert Creeley c. 1954, first issues as a record

Complete Reading (11:31): MP3
00:00 The Songs of Maximus
00:10 Song 1
00:44 Song 2
01:07 Song 3
01:25 Song 4
02:59 Song 5
03:14 Song 6
03:22 The Kingfishers 1
04:45 The Kingfishers 2
06:09 The Kingfishers 3
07:40 The Kingfishers 4
09:19 The Kingfishers II
* Note that The Kingfishers III is not included (thanks to Steve Evans for listing)

At San Francisco State University, 1957

From Maximus, vol. 1

  1. I, Maximus of Gloucester, to You [I.1] (4:01): MP3
  2. The Songs of Maximus [I.13-16] 3:11): MP3
  3. Maximus, Letter 7 (Marsden Hartley's eyes) [I:30-38] (5:44): MP3
  4. Maximus, Letter 10 [1:45-51] (3:39): MP3

From Maximus, vol. 2

  1. Letter 14 (6:11): MP3
  2. Letter 15 (5:12): MP3
  3. Maximus, The Twist (3:40): MP3
  4. Second Century Song (0:30): MP3
  5. Anecdotes of the Late War (0:43): MP3
  6. The Love of Anat (0:34): MP3
  7. The O'Ryan Poems (3:32): MP3

Christmas Tape Reading, 1957

  • Track 1 (31:05): MP3
  • Track 2 (4:42): MP3
  • Track 3 (14:33): MP3
  • Track 4 (6:43): MP3
  • Track 5 (5:08): MP3
  • Track 6 (54:45): MP3

complete recording (1:50:12): MP3

Reading in Boston, June 1962

  1. Maximus, to Gloucester (3:05): MP3
  2. So Sassafras (3:33): MP3
  3. Maximus, to Gloucester, Letter 27 (2:11): MP3 [TEXT] youtube
  4. An Ode on Cape Ann (1:01): MP3
  5. from Maximus IV (1:02): MP3
  6. View (1:44): MP3
  7. Chronicles (1:43): MP3
  8. The Gulf of Maine (3:02): MP3
  9. Maximus, from Dogtown I (6:25): MP3
  10. Going Right Out of the Century (0:50): MP3
  11. Maximus, to Gloucester, Letter 15 (4:14): MP3
  12. A Later Note on Letter #15 (1:11): MP3
  13. Letter 41 (1:02): MP3
  14. Maximus, from Dogtown II (3:36): MP3
  15. The Distance (2:03): MP3
  16. The Librarian (2:52): MP3
  17. To Gerhardt, There, Among Europe's Things... (12:52) text: MP3
  18. In Cold Hell, In Thicket (8:12): MP3
  19. ABC (0:53): MP3
  20. Letter, May 2nd 1959 (4:13): MP3
Complete Reading (1:08:51): MP3

At Goddard College, April 12-14, 1962

Reading and lecture, April 12th: MP3 (1:55:31)
Kyle Schlesinger's transcript of the event: PDF

Discussion of Herman Melville, April 14th: MP3 (1:55:31)

These recordings were originally made available to PennSound by Kyle Schlesinger. Special thanks to Goddard College archivist Forest Davis.

At the Vancouver Poetry Festival, August 16, 1963

  1. Maximus, from Dogtown II [II;9-10] (4:18): MP3
  2. Maximus, to himself as of 'Phoenicians' [II:111] (1:14): MP3
  3. Maximus, to Gloucester, Letter 27 [withheld] [II-14-15] [1:5-8] (2:14): MP3, TEXT, youtube
  4. Maximus, further on (December 28th, 1959) [II:13] (1:11): MP3
  5. The Poem (0:28): MP3
  6. River #1 (1:19): MP3
  7. River #2 (0:46): MP3
  8. Okeanos' Dream (1:18): MP3
  9. The South East Wind (1:20): MP3
  10. I Tell You It's Cruel (2:34): MP3
  11. Three Poems (1:45): MP3
  12. Of Old Times (2:12): MP3
  13. They said she went off (0:23): MP3
  14. A Maximus (2:08): MP3
  15. A coast is not the same as land (9:59): MP3
  16. Maximus Letter Whatever (2:19): MP3
  17. First Stevens Song (1:22): MP3
  18. Upward Choking on Dogtown (1:17): MP3
  19. I force the calm grey waters (1:08): MP3
  20. By the way into the woods (0:22): MP3
  21. The rock listens to itself (0:42): MP3
  22. Later Tyrian Business [II:36] (1:26): MP3
  23. For Robert Duncan Who Understands (8:48): MP3
  24. Further Completion of Platt (3:58): MP3
  25. Untitled (1:11): MP3
  26. A Prayer (0:37): MP3
  27. All having breakfast (0:59): MP3
  28. Gee Avenue (0:25): MP3
  29. Where is the B. Elery (0:11): MP3
  30. Maximus Written to be a note to myself (about Stevens) (3:01): MP3
  31. 23 School and 16 Columbia (2:12): MP3
  32. I Stand on Main St. (0:33): MP3
  33. Letter 72 (1:46): MP3
  34. Descartes solider in a time of religious wars (0:45): MP3
  35. In the interleaved almanacs of 1646 (1:55): MP3
  36. Of the Parsons (3:33): MP3
  37. The Beginnings (5:38): MP3
  38. Maximus at the Harbour (2:56): MP3
  39. 2nd Century Song (7:10): MP3
  40. from "Fort Point section," Maximus II [II:83ff] (7:40): MP3
  41. from Maximus II, final poems [II:199- 202] (5:33): MP3
  42. The Songs of Maximus [I.13-16] (6:22): MP3
  43. Maximus, to Himself ("I have had to learn the simplest things / last ...") [I:52-53] text (2:26): MP3
  44. The Blue Monster (0:57): MP3
  45. The Lordly & Isolate Satyr (8:38): MP3
  46. Le Bonheur (2:22): MP3
  47. The Charge (2:37): MP3
  48. Spring (1:16): MP3
  49. As the Dead Prey Upon Us (10:25): MP3
  50. Kingfishers (6:31): MP3
  51. Letter 3 ("Tansy buttons ...") [I:9-16] (8:00): MP3

complete reading (2:45:53): MP3

These recordings were originally made available to the Slought Foundation by Fred Wah. PennSound publication made with thanks to Slought and with the permission of Fred Wah and the Olson Estate.

At Gratwick's Highlands, November 16, 1963

  1. Tape 1 of 2 (1:37:26): MP3
  2. Tape 2 of 2 (1:06:57): MP3
  3. (recording courtesy of Robert Creeley)

USA: Poetry (NET), directed by Richard Moore (excerpts), Gloucester, March 12, 1966

"Letter # 41 [broken off]" [Maximus II:1](text) and "Maximus, to Gloucester, Letter 27 [withheld]" [Maximus II:14-15] text)



includes "The Librarian" [Collected Poems 412-14]; video on right just the poem (text)

Audio from these videos:

"Letter # 41 [broken off]" [Maximus II:1] (1:13): MP3
"Maximus, to Gloucester, Letter 27 [withheld]" [Maximus II:14-15] (2:44): MP3 text
"The Librarian" [Collected Poems 412-14] (3:34): MP3 text


Readings and Conversations at the Berkeley Poetry Conference, July 12-24, 1965

Reading at the Berkeley Poetry Conference, July 23, 1965

Introduction by Robert Duncan.

The legendary lecture was transcribed by Zoe Brown and published at Charles Olson Reading at Berkeley by Coyote Press (San Francisco, 1966).

  • complete recording (3:18:18): MP3

This recording is courtesy of David Levi Strauss.


Olson and his translator Klaus Reichert, Akademie der Künste, Berlin,  Dec. 15, 1966

Event: "Ein Gedicht und sein Autor. Lyrik und Essay." Olson reads his poem in memory to Rainer Maria Gerhard, and "Maximus, to Himself."

•"To Gerhardt, There, Among Europe's Things..." (excerpts: opening section and the segues to section 5, “the stick is a reminder” the end of the poem)
text (2:39): MP3

•"Maximus, to Himself" ["I have had to learn the simplest things last"] (1:43): MP3 | text

•Comments: "The problem of the USA today is the power which is in the raiding party. But like it’s an idea, a paramilitary idea, moves in advance of a nation, thereby eventually giving a language." Olson then expresses his outrage that Andrei Voznesensky has said, days before at the Library of Congress, that "the poets of America weren’t close to our people." (1:34): MP3

•complete reading (22:53): MP3

 

thanks to Norbert Lange for this recording

"Poetry and Truth," at Beloit College, Wisconsin. March 25-29, 1968.

  • Lecture I, Cosmology: March 25, 1968 (54:46): MP3

  • Lecture II, Belief 1: March 27, 1968 (52:10): MP3

  • Lecture III, Belief 2: March 29, 1968 (56:34): MP3
       Poems read in Lecture III:
    38:26 - 39:29: "*Added to making a Republic in gloom on Watchhouse Point" Maximus III 190 / 584
    53:32 - 54:40: '"Additions", March 1968--2' ["Wholly absorbed / into my own conduits..."] Maximus III 191 / 585
    55:05 - 56:20: "That there was a woman in Gloucester, Massachusetts..." Maximus III 189 / 583


  • On Black Mountain: March 26, 1968 (1:18:45): MP3

complete recording of all four lectures and the talk (4:04:04): MP3

Reading from Maximus, vol. 2, Beloit College (March 26, 1968):
complete reading (50:51): MP3

  • Introduction (0:47): MP3
  • out over the land skope [II.126] (3:14): MP3
  • Part of the Flower of Gloucester [II.127] (0:38): MP3
  • Veda upanishad edda than [II.128] (0:15): MP3
  • Wrote my first poems [II.129] (1:27): MP3
  • the 1st lot from the Cutt [II.130] (0:31): MP3
  • I am the Gold Machine [II.131] (1:47): MP3
  • In the harbor [II.132] (0:11): MP3
  • Kent Circle Song [II.133] (0:24): MP3
  • I swung out, at 8 or 10 [II.134] (0:12): MP3
  • JW (from the Danelaw) [II.135] (0:59): MP3
  • proem [II.136-137] (4:12): MP3
  • not the intaglio method [II.138] (0:16): MP3
  • mother-spirit to fuck at noumenon [II.139] (0:16): MP3
  • Monday, November 26, 1962 [II.140] (0:22): MP3
  • he who walks with his house on / his head [II.141] (0:16): MP3
  • she who met the serpent in the pond [II.142] (0:23): MP3
  • the woman who said she went out every Sunday [II.143] (0:21): MP3
  • into the Stream or Entrance to the Inner Harbor [II.144] (0:26): MP3
  • The Frontlet [II.145] (0:57): MP3
  • Homo Anthropos [II.146] (0:22): MP3
  • to enter into their bodies [II.147] (1:02): MP3
  • The Cow / of Dogtown (3:38) [II.148-150]: MP3
  • Stage Fort Park [II.151] (1:15): MP3
  • Further Completion of Plat (before they drown / Dogtown with reservoir, and beautify it) [II.152] (2:41): MP3
  • Sequentior [II.153] (0:46): MP3
  • Licked man (as such) out of the ice [II.154] (0:25): MP3
  • Gylfaginning VI [II.155] (0:37): MP3
  • Heaven as sky is made of stone [II.156] (0:18): MP3
  • All night long [II.157] (0:31): MP3
  • the Vault / of Heaven [II.158] (0:28): MP3
  • turn out your / ever-loving arms [II.159] (0:42): MP3
  • at the boundary of the mighty world [II.160-162] (7:46): MP3
  • Maximus, from Dogtown — IV [II.163-172] [excerpt] (2:12): MP3
  • I looked up and saw / its form [II.173] (0:14): MP3
  • One of the Bronze Plaques Which Decorate These / Shores [II.174] (0:25): MP3
  • A Letter, on Fishing Grounds [of, The Gulf of Maine] by Walter H. Rich [II.175-176] (1:59): MP3
  • Maximus, to Gloucester, Letter 157 [II.177-178] (2:16): MP3
  • Creely reads Charles Olson's "Maximus to Gloucester," Key West Literary Seminar, 2003

    Complete Recording (5:15) MP3

    PoemTalk Podcast #34, discussing Olson's Maximus poems, July 26, 2010

    Listen to the complete recording and read program notes for the episode at Jacket2.

    Also of Interest:

    Readings at Berkeley, Buffalo, and Vancouver (date unknown)

    1. Introduction (0:56): MP3
    2. John Burke (1:37): MP3
    3. The Librarian (3:18): MP3
    4. Maximus (5:50): MP3
    5. Letter 24 (3:10): MP3
    6. Letter 25: A Plantation a Beginning (2:56): MP3
    7. Letter 26: Maximus to Gloucester (3:30): MP3
    8. Maximsus to Himself text [this recording same as Vancouver above (2:23): MP3
    9. Songs of Maximus: Song 1 (3:45): MP3
    10. Tansy Buttons (5:47): MP3
    11. Poem of Spring based on a poem by Rimbaud (5:01): MP3
    12. In Cold Hell, In Thicket (8:53): MP3
    13. Maximus from Dog Town I (7:01): MP3
    Complete Reading (56:35): MP3
    (recording courtesy of Ron Silliman)

    Also on PennSound

    Robert Creeley reads Charles Olson's "Maximus, to Gloucester," Key West Literary Seminar, 2003 - (more information at Littoral)

    • complete recording (5:15) MP3

    Charles Olson on PennSound Daily


    These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to the author's estate. © 2004-2007, The Estate of Charles Olson. Used with permission of the Olson Estate. Distributed by PennSound.