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Download A Concise Companion to Twentieth-Century American Poetry by Stephen Fredman PDF

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By Stephen Fredman

This Concise spouse supplies readers a wealthy experience of the way the poetry produced within the usa throughout the 20th century is hooked up to the country’s highbrow lifestyles extra commonly. is helping readers to totally have fun with the poetry of the interval by means of tracing its old and cultural contexts. Written via widespread experts within the box. locations the poetry of the interval inside of contexts comparable to: warfare; feminism and the feminine poet; poetries of immigration and migration; communism and anti-communism; philosophy and idea. every one bankruptcy levels around the complete century, evaluating poets from one a part of the century to these of one other. New syntheses make the quantity of curiosity to students in addition to scholars and common readers.

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E. ” He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water. (Cummings 1968: 268) Different types of venom are expressed here, but in each case irony seems the only effective response to the degraded language of the “liars in public places,” as Pound calls them, whose rhetoric of phoney sublimity, leeched from the classics, drives the innocent toward slaughter. Archibald MacLeish’s fine poem “Memorial Rain,” an elegy for his brother, similarly frames political rhetoric, weaving between the words of the US Ambassador to France and an evocation of the landscape in which the poet’s brother is buried.

Duncan suggests that poetic language – our now apparently anachronistic “delite” – acquires authenticity from the act of speaking against the language of war and thereby exposes the necessary “flaw” in an otherwise impeccably circular logic. As for Stein, the “flaw” is produced not just by seeing war but by seeing it through writing, an optic which also, as the Language poets would later confirm, allows us to see the writing itself. The assumptions at work here, shared in different ways by poets such as Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, George Oppen, and Louis Zukofsky, return us inevitably to the primary influence all four shared – Ezra Pound – who, when Duncan wrote these lines, was confined in St Elizabeth’s hospital, pending his eventual fitness to stand trial for treason.

I become 23 Peter Nicholls ashamed, I become sick with shame” (UCSD: 16, 19, 12). Oppen’s “sickness” is produced in part by a sense of deadly repetition, of the traumatic experience of Alsace occurring again, bringing back what he called the “guilt of that foxhole” (Oppen 1974: 5). While the Vietnam war can be “seen,” as it were, in that terrible image of “A plume of smoke, visible at a distance/ In which people burn,” World War II has a sort of belated force, continuing to deliver traumatic memories from a distance and refusing to come into the clear focus that might allow it to be forgotten.

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