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Anachronism

Someone or something placed in an inappropriate period of time. Shakespeare’s placing of a clock in Julius Caesar is an anachronism, because clocks had not yet been invented in the period when the play is set. In Charles Olson’s epic The Maximus Poems, the central figure encompasses the poet’s alter ego, the second-century Greek philosopher Maximus of Tyre, and the fourth-century Phoenician mystic Maximus. This persona arises from outside of time to reflect on the state of American culture by recounting the history of Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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