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Poetics

AMERICAN POETRY & CULTURE, 1945-1980

AMERICAN POETRY & CULTURE, 1945-1980

Author: HALLBERG, ROBERT VON
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Challenging the common perception of poets as standing apart from the mainstream of American culture, Robert von Hallberg gives us a fresh and unpredictable assessment of the poetry that has come directly out of the American experience since 1945.

Who reads contemporary American poetry? More people than were reading new poetry in the 1920s, von Hallberg shows. How do poets respond to the public preoccupations of their readers? Often with fascination. Von Hallberg put the poems of Robert Creeley and John Ashbery together with the postwar outburst of systems analysis. The 1950s tourist poems of John Hollander, Adrienne Rich, W. S. Merwin, and James Merrill are treated as the cultural side of America's postwar rise to global political power There are chapters on the political poems of the 1950s and 1960s, and on Robert Lowell's sympathy for the imperialism of his liberal contemporaries. Poems of the 1970s on pop culture, especially Edward Dorn's Slinger, and some from the suburbs of the 1980s, are shown to reflect a curious peace between the literary and the mass cultures.

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AN ESSAY ON FRENCH VERSE

Author: BARZUN, JACQUES
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Barzun, Essay on French Verse. From the author of From Dawn to Decadence.

CAWS AND CAUSERIES

Author: HOLLO, ANSELM
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This collection of prose writings by an internationally known poet includes an autobiographical essay describing Hollo's remarkable odyssey from the time he left his native Finland for the United States as a high school student until he settled in Colorado in the late 1980s. Other pieces in the collection, ranging from brief pieces ("caws") to more extended "causeries" (informal essays), include "Some Aereated Prose for a Panel on 'experimental writing, '" "Gregorio the Herald" (a tribute to Gregory Corso), discussions of other poets, among them Tom Raworth and Francis Ponge, "What Was It Like: A Remembrance of Allen Ginsberg's Howl," and a sampling of a lifetime's observations on poetry and poets. What emerges is a lively, unabashedly opinionated, always personal poetics forged in association and friendship with numerous "New American" poets: the Beats, the Black Mountain poets, the New York School, the Language poets, and the perennially unclassifiable and enigmatic.

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CLASSIC WRITINGS ON POETRY

Author: HARMON W
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The poet is the sayer, the namer, and represents beauty. He is a sovereign, and stands on the centre.--Ralph Waldo Emerson, from "The Poet"

"[The poet] is a seer.... he is individual... he is complete in himself.... the others are as good as he, only he sees it and they do not. He is not one of the chorus. "--Walt Whitman, from the preface to Leaves of Grass

Poetry has always given rise to interpretation, judgment, and controversy. Indeed, the history of poetry criticism is as rich and varied a journey as the history of poetry itself. But classic writings such as Emerson's essay "The Poet" and Whitman's preface to Leaves of Grass serve as more than a critical "call and response" the works are striking examples of how the finest poets themselves have written on poetics and the works of their peers and predecessors--revealing, in the process, much about the theory and passion behind their own works.

Spanning thousands of years and including thirty-three of the most influential critical essays ever written, Classic Writings on Poetry is the first major anthology of criticism devoted exclusively to poetry. Beginning with a survey of the history of poetics and providing an introduction and brief biography for each reading, esteemed poet and critic William Harmon takes readers from Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Poetics to the Norse mythology of Snorri Sturluson's Skáldskaparmál. John Dryden's An Essay of Dramatic Poesy and Shelley's A Defence of Poetry are included, as is an excerpt from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's verse novel Aurora Leigh, arriving, finally, at the modernist sensibility of "Poetic Reality and Critical Unreality," by Laura (Riding) Jackson. For anyone interested in the art and artifice of poetry, Classic Writings on Poetry is a journey well worth taking.

DWELLING IN POSSIBILITY: Women Poets and Critics on Poetry

DWELLING IN POSSIBILITY: Women Poets and Critics on Poetry

Author: PRINS, YOPIE
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"Dwelling in Possibility" cuts across conventional boundaries between critical and creative writing by featuring the work of both women poets and feminist critics as they explore and exemplify the relationship between gender and poetic genres. The contributors suggest new ways of thinking and writing about poetry in light of contemporary question about history and identity. Most of the contributions are published here for the first time. This imaginatively conceived book covers a range in terms of time, geography, and genre, considering poets from antiquity to the present and drawing on a variety of critical approaches. Of particular note are essays on the transformation of classical lyric through the figure of Sappho, and on the transformative use of biblical material in women's verse.
ELOQUENCE & MERE LIFE: Essays on the Art of Poetry

ELOQUENCE & MERE LIFE: Essays on the Art of Poetry

Author: WILLIAMSSON, ALAN
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Assesses past and future generations of poets and examines the standards by which they should be measured
HEAVY WORDS LIGHTLY THROWN

HEAVY WORDS LIGHTLY THROWN

Author: ROBERTS
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Was Little Jack Horner a squatter? ?Baa Baa Black Sheep? a bleat about taxation? What did Jack and Jill do on that hill? Who was Mary? And why was she contrary?

This witty and ingenious book delves into the hidden meanings of forty of the most innocuous- sounding nursery rhymes, uncovering a seething subtext of sexual innuendo, religious hatred, and political subversion. "Heavy Words Lightly Thrown" provides a fascinating history lesson, teases out some alarming Freudian interpretations, and makes astonishing connections to contemporary popular culture. Striking and spooky silhouettes of nursery rhyme characters accompany the rhymes.

You?ll never see Mother Goose in the same way again. BACKCOVER: Praise for "Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: "
?What makes HWLT so much fun to read is not just the wacky stories Roberts tells, but the way Roberts tells them. He has a quick, chummy wit and moves easily between the past and the present, making connections between the way people acted then and the way we act now, and sending up both.?
?"Orlando Sentinel"
?Roberts employs a decidedly playful approach in analyzing the rhymes.?
?"Chicago Tribune"
?Roberts deploys an informal style of scholarship to a dazzling effect, transforming a catalogue of familiar nursery rhymes into a treasure trove of tantalizingly slippery archaisms, hidden etymological layers, arcane associations and buried meanings. This is better than history lite--it's history made delightful.?
?"Publishers Weekly" (starred review)
?HWLT is obviously a labor of love, performed by a man obsessed with language, history, but intent on making the education of his readers a joyous experience.?
?"Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel"
?a loving, in-depth look at history, the human condition, and why words and the way they are used matters so much.?
?"Sunday Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News"
?a lighthearted, often hilarious look at the human condition and a fascinating exploration of how words can shape mythology and culture.?
?"Syracuse Post-Standard"
) ?A fascinating slice of history with quirky, unexpected and often scandalous tales.?
?"Providence Sunday Journal"
?An intriguing & informative historical trip through those odd little songs I sang as an odd little child. A must-have for anyone who has ever been younger than they are now.?
?Angus Oblong, creator of ?The Oblongs? animated series & author of "Creepy Susie: And 13 Other Tragic Tales for Troubled Children"
?James Finn Garner, author of "Politically Correct Bedtime Stories"

IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND, SECOND EDITION: A POET'S PORTABLE WORKSHOP

IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND, SECOND EDITION: A POET'S PORTABLE WORKSHOP

Author: KOWIT, STEVE
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*Over 90,000 copies sold*

Long an anchor text for college and junior college writing classes, this illuminating and invaluable guide has become a favorite for beginning poets and an ever-valuable reference for more advanced students who want to sharpen their craft, expand their technical skills, and engage their deepest memories and concerns.This edition adds Steve Kowit's famous essay on poetics "The Mystique of the Difficult Poem," in which he argues stirringly and forcefully that a poem need not be obscure to be great.

INVISIBLE LISTENERS: Lyric Intimacy in Herbert, Whitman, and Ashberry

INVISIBLE LISTENERS: Lyric Intimacy in Herbert, Whitman, and Ashberry

Author: VENDLER, HELEN
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When a poet addresses a living person--whether friend or enemy, lover or sister--we recognize the expression of intimacy. But what impels poets to leap across time and space to speak to invisible listeners, seeking an ideal intimacy--George Herbert with God, Walt Whitman with a reader in the future, John Ashbery with the Renaissance painter Francesco Parmigianino? In Invisible Listeners, Helen Vendler argues that such poets must invent the language that will enact, on the page, an intimacy they lack in life.

Through brilliantly insightful and gracefully written readings of these three great poets over three different centuries, Vendler maps out their relationships with their chosen listeners. For his part, Herbert revises the usual vertical address to God in favor of a horizontal one-addressing God as a friend. Whitman hovers in a sometimes erotic, sometimes quasi-religious language in conceiving the democratic camerado, who will, following Whitman's example, find his true self. And yet the camerado will be replaced, in Whitman's verse, by the ultimate invisible listener, Death. Ashbery, seeking a fellow artist who believes that art always distorts what it represents, finds he must travel to the remote past. In tones both tender and skeptical he addresses Parmigianino, whose extraordinary self-portrait in a convex mirror furnishes the poet with both a theory and a precedent for his own inventions.

By creating the forms and speech of ideal intimacy, these poets set forth the possibility of a more complete and satisfactory human interchange--an ethics of relation that is uncoerced, understanding, and free.

MODERNIST QUARTET

MODERNIST QUARTET

Author: LENTRICCHIA, FRANK
$16.95
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Modernist Quartet is a study of the four major American modernist poets--Frost, Stevens, Pound, Eliot--in various historical environments (literary, philosophical, gender relations, the business of capitalist economics) with special attention given to their central poetic texts as they simultaneously reflect and shape our understanding of those environments. Frank Lentricchia presents the poems as stories of the poets seeking to sustain a life in noncommercial writing, in a culture that is only hospitable, for the most part, to commercial art.