By Jahan Ramazani
Poetry is frequently considered as culturally homogeneous—“stubbornly national,” in T. S. Eliot’s word, or “the so much 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 battle II North the US and the North Atlantic; and in ethnic American, postcolonial, and black British writing. Cross-cultural trade and impression are, he argues, one of the leader engines of poetic improvement within the 20th- and twenty-first centuries. Reexamining the paintings of a big selection of poets, from Eliot, Yeats, and Langston Hughes to Elizabeth Bishop, Lorna Goodison, and Agha Shahid Ali, Ramazani finds the numerous ways that sleek and modern poetry in English overflows nationwide borders and exceeds the scope of nationwide literary paradigms. via quite a few transnational templates—globalization, migration, shuttle, style, impression, modernity, decolonization, and diaspora—he discovers poetic connection and discussion throughout countries or even hemispheres. quite wide-ranging in scope but carefully considering details, A Transnational Poetics demonstrates how poetic research can foster an aesthetically attuned transnational literary feedback that's even as alert to modernity’s worldwide situation.
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Additional info for A Transnational Poetics
A. Robinson told the stories of failed lives in Tilbury Town, Masters in Spoon River, though these poets reanimated globally circulated traditions, such as Housman’s Latin classicism and Masters’s Greek epitaphs, to give expression to their local or regional experience. Perhaps the most prominent among the American regionalists and nationalists, William Carlos Williams, illustrates the difﬁculty of considering even “nativist” poets outside an international context. 42 Though Williams was not an expatriate, he lived, like Wallace Stevens and Marianne Moore, in and around “mongrel Manhattan,” as Ann Douglas calls it,43 where all three poets came into contact with avant-garde European art, engendering poems that have more in common with the violent perspectivism of cubism than with American poetry of the previous generation.
That many of the key modernists were expatriates is frequently rehearsed. ”6 Yet the implications of such human displace- A Transnational Poetics 25 ment for nation-based literary histories have not been fully absorbed within institutions of literary instruction, dissemination, and criticism, which remain largely nation-centric. Whether these migrant writers left home compelled by politics or lured by economics, whether in search of cultural traditions or freedom from the burden of such traditions, whether for publishing opportunities, educational advancement, or new cultural horizons, they produced works that cannot always be read as emblematic of single national cultures.
S. S. cities, the sonnet is nevertheless cast in the heroic rhetoric of Shakespeare’s Henry V, making it readily appropriable by Winston Churchill, who intoned it during World War II without attribution: If we must die, O let us nobly die, So that our precious blood may not be shed In vain; then even the monsters we defy Shall be constrained to honor us though dead! O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe! ” Various cultural conceptions and preconceptions dialogically contend even in its sonic texture, which contradicts Jekyll’s claim that the “negro variant” of English “shortens, softens, rejects the harder sounds alike of consonants and vowels,” instead drawing out assonances (“O let us nobly die”) and A Transnational Poetics 31 rhyming on hard consonants (spot / lot, pack / back).