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By Jahan Ramazani
Poetry is frequently seen as culturally homogeneous—“stubbornly national,” in T. S. Eliot’s word, or “the such a lot provincial of the arts,” in keeping with W. H. Auden. yet in A Transnational Poetics, Jahan Ramazani uncovers the ocean-straddling energies of the poetic imagination—in modernism and the Harlem Renaissance; in post–World struggle II North the US and the North Atlantic; and in ethnic American, postcolonial, and black British writing. Cross-cultural trade and effect are, he argues, one of the leader engines of poetic improvement within the 20th- and twenty-first centuries. Reexamining the paintings of a wide range of poets, from Eliot, Yeats, and Langston Hughes to Elizabeth Bishop, Lorna Goodison, and Agha Shahid Ali, Ramazani finds the various ways that smooth and modern poetry in English overflows nationwide borders and exceeds the scope of nationwide literary paradigms. via numerous transnational templates—globalization, migration, commute, style, effect, modernity, decolonization, and diaspora—he discovers poetic connection and discussion throughout international locations or even hemispheres. particularly wide-ranging in scope but carefully involved in details, A Transnational Poetics demonstrates how poetic research can foster an aesthetically attuned transnational literary feedback that's whilst alert to modernity’s international .
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Extra info for A Transnational Poetics
T. S. Eliot, Claude McKay, Robert Graves, Laura Riding, Langston Hughes, C. Day Lewis, William Empson, W. H. ” Along with the increasing numbers of poets on the move, the cross-national reading practices of the twentieth century also impair the mononational literary model. The massive number of cross-national inﬂuences upon and appropriations by the modernists disrupt the usual dynastic narratives of compatriot X begetting compatriot Y begetting compatriot Z. ”10 Further thwarting mononational narratives were the proliferation of geography-traversing technologies such as the telephone, cinema, and radio; the increasing ease of travel by ship and by air; the massive 26 chapter two migration of black North Americans from the rural South to the urban North; the circulation of avant-garde art and translations among European and North American cities; the rapid global movement of capital; the researches of globe-trotting anthropologists; the dramatic expansion of the British Empire across a quarter of the land’s surface by World War I; the emergence at the same time of the United States as a new political and economic world power.
47 At the same time, however, the painting disrupts binaries of Western high art and African folk art, of advanced one-point perspective and backward nonrepresentational handicraft, making possible new transcontinental forms without prior existence in either European or African aesthetics. If one standard against which to gauge such transnational engagements across uneven global terrain 12 chapter one is whether they reﬂect dominant ideologies, another perhaps more aesthetically calibrated measure is whether they afford fresh imaginative possibilities that generate new cultural work, either locally or globally.
In the twentieth century, even localist poems evince the contracted space and time of transnational ﬂows and imaginaries. ”58 Colonial interpenetration and postcolonial migration anticipate the ever more enmeshed localities of subsequent globalization. ”59 In Langston Hughes’s exactly situated “Theme for English B” (“I cross St. ”60 As in Okigbo’s invocation, poetry enables the speaker to rhyme himself with a toponymically localized environment. ” And subsequent lines open out still further to thematize identity as both discretely located and thoroughly enmeshed, networked, cross-racialized.