Ron Silliman


Ron Silliman


One reoccurring theme that popped up when navigating through the, If Polis is This: Charles Olson and The Persistence of Place article was that the films accuracy was limited through a multitude of different problems which in turn lowered the quality of the film. The films shortcomings started with the time allotted  to try and describe the life of Charles Olson. An hour of time to describe any mans life is too short. Moreover, because the film was so short it left out the later years of Olson’s life. The later years  were regarded very important by many as some of the most influential events leading up to Olson’s death happened later in his life. In addition, important people (his mistress Frances Boldereff), important events (the death of his wife), and the lifestyle that shaped his work (his alcoholism) all were omitted from the documentary.

If these facts were explored in more detail by the directors of the documentary it would have painted a more vivid picture of Charles Olson’s thought process later in life. This would allow for a possibly more in depth review of his poetry. Poems like Maximus, to himself would become more clear through knowing the state of mind of Olson at that time.  Overall the limitations of the documentary detract from the life of Olson and do not give a good overall impression on who the man truly was.


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