Boston: The Librarian
In 1955, Blaser moved to Boston to take up a position as a librarian at the Widener Library, Harvard. Over his four years there, he wrote intensely, working out his views on life, language, and the role of poetry in the world, often in poems touched by the surreal. He also broadened his literary relationships, visiting and corresponding with poets John Wieners, Ed Marshall, Steve Jonas, Charles Olson, Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, and Denise Levertov. Although he was successful at Harvard, Blaser came to dislike the place and left in 1959, using his savings to take a much dreamed-of European tour. This chapter follows Blaser through the Boston scene, the early poems (many still unpublished), and his first grand tour of London and Europe.