Charles Olson and the posture of practice

How do we “take responsibility” for that which we wish to unfold, be it a poem, a relationship, or the healing so needed in a consulting room.

According to Olson the writer’s practice is:

of an order that causes him to demand back what he gives; utmost care & openness in discussion of. On top of that, he has, like any of us to whom the thing is already our life stretching down to our death, a sense of the responsibility of the act of writing by anyone anywhere: that sense of the public domain that only the most serious men ever have, and to which they give, and sacrifice anything. (Charles Olson, Letters for Origin, pg 87)

Many of the social media postures that define “how to’s” and focus on driving click behavior sorely lack the care and reverence for the public domain which Olson is speaking of.  The field is flooded by those identified with the archetype of the confidence man which is closely linked to the snake oil salesman…buyer beware.

Author: Richard Reeve

I'm the Senior Director of Development at Panthera, a global conservation organization committed to stemming the population decline of cats in the wild. I enjoy rural living with my wife Judith and our two children in the Catskill Mountains of New York.