A History of American Poetry

A History of American Poetry

By: Richard Gray (author)Hardback

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A History of American Poetry presents a comprehensive exploration of the development of American poetic traditions from their pre-Columbian origins to the present day. * Offers a detailed and accessible account of the entire range of American poetry * Situates the story of American poetry within crucial social and historical contexts, and places individual poets and poems in the relevant intertextual contexts * Explores and interprets American poetry in terms of the international positioning and multicultural character of the United States * Provides readers with a means to understand the individual works and personalities that helped to shape one of the most significant bodies of literature of the past few centuries

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About Author

Richard Gray has been Professor or Distinguished Visiting Professor at several universities in the UK and USA, including Essex, Georgia and South Carolina. He is the first specialist in American literature to be elected a Fellow of the British Academy and has published over a dozen books on the topic, including the award-winning Writing the South: Ideas of an American Region (1986) and The Life of William Faulkner: A Critical Biography (1994).


Preface and Acknowledgments x 1 The American Poem 1 The United States the Greatest Poem 1 The Poem is You 8 The Breaking of the New Wood 21 Forging the Uncreated Conscience of the Nation 27 2 Beginnings 39 In My Beginning is My End 39 The word and the Word: Colonial Poetry 44 Towards the Secular: Colonial Poetry 53 Writing Revolution: The Poetry of the Emergent Republic 57 Across the Great Divide: Poetry of the South and the North 63 To Sing the Nation: American Poetic Voices 69 To Sing of Freedom: African American Voices 89 Looking Before and After: Poetic Voices of Region and Nation 91 3 The Turn to the Modern: Imagism, Objectivism, and Some Major Innovators 106 The Revolution is Accomplished 106 The Significance of Imagism 111 From Imagism to Objectivism or Dream 115 From Imagism to the Redemption of History 128 From Imagism to Contact and Community 136 From Imagism to Discovery of the Imagination 141 4 In Search of a Past: The Fugitive Movement and the Major Traditionalists 153 The Precious, the Incommunicable Past 153 The Significance of the Fugitives 157 Traditionalism and the South 160 Traditionalism Outside the South 174 Traditionalism, Skepticism, and Tragedy 179 Traditionalism, Quiet Desperation, and Belief 185 Traditionalism, Inhumanism, and Prophecy 191 5 The Traditions of Whitman: Other Poets from Between the Wars 201 Make this America for Us! 201 Whitman and American Populism 205 Whitman and American Radicalism 211 Whitman, American Identity, and African American Poetry 217 Whitman and American Individualism 224 Whitman and American Experimentalism 232 Whitman and American Mysticism 237 6 Formalists and Confessionals: American Poetry since World War II 250 A Sad Heart at the Supermarket 250 From the Mythological Eye to the Lonely "I": A Progress of American Poetry since the War 253 Varieties of the Personal: The Self as Dream, Landscape, or Confession 258 From Formalism to Freedom: A Progress of American Poetic Techniques since the War 264 The Imagination of Commitment: A Progress of American Poetic Themes since the War 270 The Uses of Formalism 274 The Confessional "I" as Primitive 278 The Confessional "I" as Historian 281 The Confessional "I" as Martyr 285 The Confessional "I" as Prophet 289 New Formalists, New Confessionals 292 7 Beats, Prophets, and Aesthetes: American Poetry since World War II 302 Who Am I? 302 Rediscovering the American Voice: The Black Mountain Poets 306 Restoring the American Vision: The San Francisco Poets 316 Recreating American Rhythms: The Beat Poets 323 Resurrecting the American Rebel: African American Poetry 330 Reinventing the American Self: The New York Poets 340 And the Beat Goes On: American Poetry and Virtual Reality 351 8 The Languages of American Poetry and the Language of Crisis: American Poetry into the Twenty-First Century 367 What is the Language of American Literature? 367 The Actuality of Words: The Language Poets 376 The Necessity of Audience: The New Formalists 384 Remapping the Nation: Chicano/a and Latino/a Poetry 395 Improvising America: Asian American Poetry 418 New and Ancient Songs: The Return of the Native American 448 Legends of the Fall: American Poetry and Crisis 476 Epilogue: What Is an American? The Problem of Literary Nationality 509 Index 519

Product Details

  • publication date: 20/03/2015
  • ISBN13: 9781118795347
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 542
  • ID: 9781118795347
  • weight: 1084
  • ISBN10: 1118795342

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