Charles Olson @ 100

tesserae

		commissure

[written Jan 19th 1962; one of my very favorite Olson poems

[audio:http://www.pierrejoris.com/blog/audio/OlsonTesserae.mp3]

from Olson’s reading at Goddard College, transcript here:


tesserae

commissure

UV: What is “tesserae”?

CO: Yea. The little pieces that are used in making a mosaic. They are tesserae, the, the—all those little pieces
of stone and glass and color.

UV: And the other word?

CO: “Commissure,” which means, uh, bound together. But it’s ah—

UV: Could you read it again?

CO: Yea:

tesserae

commissure

CO: The “tesserae” is underlined, is a foreign word, and “commissure” —actually they’re both in the Webster’s book, but I don’t know if “tesserae” is. That’s really kind of a run, move now, it moves now differently. In fact it kind of breaks a little bit. I, I’ll read you the next poem, but the one beyond it I haven’t been able to write. It’s very bad, you see, and you really get stuck, you really get stuck. Twenty-one: [Reads Maximus II.100] …

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