George Oppen reads from Of Being Numerous, specifically the long poem “The Route”.

Introducer (Roy Kiyooka)


This evening, we're having George Oppen, who is going to start off the third series, now I want to keep this introduction to George very succinct, and I'm going to quote a part of the letter that he sent to us, [inaudible] his activities, I think it adequately, perhaps, sums up what he's been about. It goes like this: "A bibliography in so far as my memory will produce it. Objectivist Issue of Poetry, Chicago, circa 1932. A book, Discreet Series, Objectivist Press, 1934, re-issued by Asphodel Press, 463 Arcade, Cleveland, Ohio. Pound's Active Anthology, 1936, a number of little magazines during 33, 34, Hound and Horn, I believe, Lion and Crown, etc. There it is, you'll see, 25 year gap. Touched on in some of the poems including [inaudible] in this [inaudible.] A forthcoming book, Of Being Numerous, New Directions scheduled for the spring of 1968." And he ends by saying "there is a moral [inaudible] one has in fact a great deal of triumph, and then, recently, he has had the following books done: This in Which, by New Directions, 1957, The Materials, New Directions again, 1962, Of Being Numerous, 1968. Now if there's any a book of poems, Discrete Series, there is a long preface by Ezra Pound, I'd like to quote a segment of that, which goes like this: "I salute a serious craftsman, a sensibility which is not every man's sensibility, and which is not been got out of other man's books." Ladies and gentlemen, George Oppen.


George Oppen


I think I will, I plan to read two of the longer poems in the last volume, so I will just read the poems. Without pleasantries and so on. We can easily make a conversation afterwards if you want, but I think I better just read the poems, read the poems, and I'll make a few intermissions, it's a great deal of poetry both for you and for me, at a single sitting, and we'll make intermissions however you think are [inaudible.] I'll start with the poem in [inaudible], called "The Route". That's r-o-u-t-e, route.




Reads "The Route".








Begins after CUT "Things relive, and to see them is to know ourselves..."




[CUT] Begins again "When, as the intensity of things increase..."









Works Cited

Sutton, Mark. “Oppen, George”. Literature Online Biography. H.W. Wilson Company, Proquest: 2002. Concordia University Library, Montreal. September 16, 2009. <http://0-gateway.>.

"Oppen, George". The Oxford Companion to American Literature. James D. Hart (ed.), Phillip W. Leininger (rev). Oxford University Press 1995. Oxford Reference Online. Concordia University Library, Montreal. September 16, 2009. <>.

“Poetry Readings”. OP-ED. [Sir George Williams University, Montreal.] October 6, 1967. Page 6.

“SGWU To Have Poetry Series”. The Gazette. September 14, 1967: page 15. <,2837932&dq=sir+george+williams+poetry&hl=en>.


From the “Howard Fink” list of poems:

one 5” mono, single track reel, @ 3 3/4 ips, lasting 40 min.

1.  “The Route”.


Transcript, Research, Introduction and Edits by Celyn Harding-Jones

George Oppen at SGWU, 1968

Catalog numberI086-11-040
NotesThe Gazette announces reading as March 8, 1968, but perhaps it was changed.
Labelsone 5” mono, single track reel, @ 3 3/4 ips
Sound qualityPoor
SpeakersGeorge Oppen, introduced by Roy Kiyooka
DateOctober 25, 1968

00:00- Introducer (Roy Kiyooka) introduces George Oppen , The Materials, New Directions Press, 1962, This In Which, New Directions Press, 1957]

02:48- George Oppen introduces “The Route”.

03:37- Reads “The Route”.