By Stephen Fredman
This Concise significant other supplies readers a wealthy feel of ways the poetry produced within the usa throughout the 20th century is attached to the country’s highbrow lifestyles extra generally. is helping readers to totally take pleasure in the poetry of the interval by means of tracing its ancient and cultural contexts. Written through fashionable experts within the box. locations the poetry of the interval inside of contexts similar to: struggle; feminism and the feminine poet; poetries of immigration and migration; communism and anti-communism; philosophy and thought. every one bankruptcy levels around the whole century, evaluating poets from one a part of the century to these of one other. New syntheses make the amount of curiosity to students in addition to scholars and normal readers.
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Extra resources for A Concise Companion to Twentieth-Century American Poetry (Concise Companions to Literature and Culture)
Drawing attention to how at the turn of the century Paul Dunbar prepares in his dialect poems for an incorporation of the oral element of the blues, Phillips goes on to show how poets such as Langston Hughes, Sterling Brown, Robert Hayden, Gayl Jones, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Michael Harper make use of this oral element, with its extensive repetition and its empathic connection to an audience, in creating poetry that addresses the aesthetic and social needs of African Americans at speciﬁc moments during this tumultuous century.
In “Of Hours,” this traumatic memory is embedded in an address to Pound as the father-ﬁgure who failed to learn the lesson of his own famous line, “What thou lovest well remains” and who is ﬁnally seen walking home “Unteachable” (Oppen 2002: 217–19). In “The Speech at Soli,” Pound is again reproached for the willed nature of his seeing, as Oppen reinﬂects Canto CXV’s “I cannot make it cohere”: “war in incoherent/ sunlight it will not/ cohere it will NOT” (Oppen 2002: 239). ” In contrast to Pound’s way of seeing war, then, Oppen’s involves a moment of acknowledged blindness, a moment in which, as Levinas has it, we experience “the surplus of being over the thought that claims to contain it” (Levinas 1969: 27).
It is the obliquity that must be emphasized, for while, as Virilio says, military engagement is increasingly a visual spectacle, its attendant derealization makes it ever harder to “see” in an ethical sense. For Bernstein, this might exemplify what he regards as a general shift from the New American Poetry onwards, a shift from what I’ve called “seeing” wars as actual events to a poetics that ﬁnds in acts of 24 Wars I Have Seen linguistic precision and discrimination an ethical counter to what he terms “the grammar of control and the syntax of command” (Bernstein 1992: 202).