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By Charles Olson

                     colored pictures

of all things to eat: dirty


               And words, words, words   

all over everything

                                              No eyes or ears left   

to do their own doings (all

invaded, appropriated, outraged, all senses

including the mind, that worker on what is

                                                                  And that other sense   

made to give even the most wretched, or any of us, wretched,

that consolation (greased


even the street-cars


Charles Olson, “The Songs of Maximus: ‘Song 1’ ” from The Maximus Poems, published by the University of California Press. Copyright © 1983 by Charles Olson. Reprinted with the permission of The Literary Estate of Charles Olson.

Source: The Maximus Poems (University of California Press, 1987)

  • Arts & Sciences
  • Social Commentaries

Poet Bio

Charles Olson
Charles Olson grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts and spent summers in Gloucester, Massachusetts, which was to become the focus of his writing. In 1951, Olson became a visiting professor at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, working and studying here beside artists such as John Cage and Robert Creeley. He subsequently became rector of the college. Olson's ideas came to deeply influence a generation of poets, including writers such as Denise Levertov, Paul Blackburn, Ed Dorn and Robert Duncan. See More By This Poet

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