Projective Verse 1950. Charles Olson


Charles Olson

Projective Verse

(projective (percussive (prospective

vs.

The NON-Projective

(or what a French critic calls “closed” verse, that verse which print bred and which is pretty much what we have had, in English & American, and have still got, despite the work of Pound & Williams:

it led Keats, already a hundred years ago, to see it (Wordsworth’s, Milton’s) in the light of “the Egotistical Sublime”; and it persists, at this latter day, as what you might call the private-soul-at-any-public-wall)

Verse now, 1950, if it is to go ahead, if it is to be of essential use, must, I take it, catch up and put into itself certain laws and possibilities of breath, of the breathing of the man who writes as well as of his listenings. (The revolution of the ear, 1910, the trochee’s heave, asks it of the younger poets.) Continue reading

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