Friday, February 19, 2010

Aimless Reading: The F's, Part 31 (R. Buckminster Fuller)

Fuller, R. Buckminster
Untitled Epic Poem On
The History Of Industrialization


Purchased at Rust Belt Books.

All I can say about this book is that it's hard to imagine a poet, even a great poet, one day deciding to re-invent the geodesic dome in order to cheaply and comfortably shelter the people of the world from the elements.

And yet in thee pages the inventor of said dome has written a highly engaging and entertaining book-length poem on nothing other than the history of industrialization in the U.S. up to 1940. Whether or not the poem succeeds as a work of art is beside the point.

I find it easier to imagine most contemporary poets inventing the geodesic dome than I do imagining them writing a book length work as entertaining and unique as this one.

Untitled Epic Poem On The History Of Industrialization

And so Industrialization grew
uniquely
as the mutual mechanical scientific extension,
comprising precision controls
of energy and time.

And by Industrialization
and its mechanical extension
you and I are both
mutually and at the same time
New York,
Grand Coulee Dam,
The T.V.A., the Washington
The New York Central,
and the Santa Fe,
Route U.S.A 1, from Maine to Key West,
the stratosphere liners, -
they are our mutual
all-age, all-sex,
all-race
flesh and blood extensions.
They are us
we are they
and those who destroy them
or falsely employ them
are our enemies
and the enemy of our God
of the quick, -
they who destroy
are the proponents
of friction, freezing,
inertia and death.

2 comments:

-kaplan said...

I just came across a reference to this poem in Mary Emma Harris's history of BMC, & now I land here after a quick google search. Nice post, Mike!

(PS - M.E. Harris says Olson hated the poem!)

Michael Kelleher, North Haven, CT said...

Thanks, Kap. I am sure people like O and F had a hard time with anyone else in the room, especially if they wanted to speak.