The final weekend of the Charles Olson Centennial, October 8-10, began with a celebration of the life of a man who was a poet and writer himself and the friend of some of the country’s leading poets and writers, including
On Friday, October 8 at 3 p.m. the life of Rev. Paul Sawyer was commemorated in words and music at the Universalist Unitarian Church of Gloucester, a church he often attended and sometimes preached at. Family members, friends, former colleagues and poets and writers, who had traveled to Gloucester for the Charles Olson Centennial, joined together to pay tribute to the life of this remarkable man at the church where Vincent Ferrini often read and Olson wrote about in his Gloucester epic, “The Maximus Poems.”
Rev. Sawyer, who died in
A native of
As much as Sawyer was animated by poetry, which he shared often with his congregations as a Unitarian Universalist minister and graduate of the Star King School of Ministry in
But “he had so many spheres—jazz, politics, history,” Susan, his wife of 25 years, said, describing his fifty years of ministry in Seattle, Oregon, Berkley, Pittsburg, New Jersey and Pasadena. His sister Charlotte, wife of retired
“He didn’t want to talk about old times,” she said. “He didn’t want to discuss his illness. What he wanted to talk about was the war in
Shortly before his death, Sawyer completed a memoir, “Untold Story: A Short Narrative History of Our Time,” in which he told his own story in the context of the turbulent years during which he preached, wrote, taught and made of himself an example of the “examined life,” so important to Emerson, Thoreau and the New England Transcendentalists he spent a lifetime studying and emulating.