Friday, August 19, 2011

Aimless Reading: The O's, Part 5.8 (Charles Olson)

Olson, Charles
Olson: The Journal of the Charles Olson Archives, Number 7

Click here for details on my acquisition of this set.

This is an interesting issue. It contains Olson's complete journals from a sword fishing cruise he worked on in July, 1936. According to the introduction, the cruise took place about a year after his father had suddenly died. It appears he was at sea for about three weeks. His journals begin more like a log book and end up something like an early Maximus poem, with Olson taking notes on everything from sailor lingo to bills of lading, with a dash of mythology thrown in for good measure. I don't think I'd noticed before how much these journals DO look like the Maximus poems. The list below looks almost like a schema for a novel.

from Olson: The Journal of the Charles Olson Archives, Number 7

from Journal of Swordfishing Cruise on Doris M. Hawes, July 1936

1. The rhythms of a vessel–like a good woman
2. The order of a day aboard
3. Morning & Evening
4. The indirectness of fisherman
5. The ripeness, Eliz. gusto of their speech
6. At the wheel in the storm
7. The colors of the sea
8. The food & the eating
9. Each member of the crew characterized
10. The fleet–makeup–rivalry
11. The porpoises
12. The blackfish
13. The faded coat of the sea
14. The sun like a cigarette burn
15. High liners
16. [blank]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

indirectness of....
handcrafted sign for many year
in gloucester post office
picture: a large hammer
words in "portageez"(many a glouc. fisherman)
"please don't break my balls"
or as they say in the area

and boyo did those guys smell
when they came in the post office:
we had a special airfreshener labeled cutter fish-be gone or somethin