Must poetic form be, as Yeats demanded, "full, sphere-like, single, " or can it accommodate the "impurities" Yeats and his Modernist generation found so problematic? Sixty years later, these are still open questions, questions to which Marjorie Perloff addresses herself in the essays collected here. The first group of essays deals with Pound's own poetics as that poetics related to two of his great contemporaries, Stevens and Joyce, as well as to the visual arts of his day. The second group deals with the more technical aspects of verse and prose. In the last four essays, Perloff takes up broader issues, including the current pessimism about the state of poetry, and the work of experimental poets and conceptual poets.
Marjorie Perloff is the Sadie Dernham Patek professor of Humanities at Stanford University. She is the author of many books of literary criticism, including Poetic License: Essays on Modernist and Postmodernist Lyric and The Poetics of Indeterminacy: Rimbaud to Cage, both published by Northwestern University Press.
Pound/Stevens - whose era?; the portrait of the artist as collage-text - Pound's Gaudier-Brzeska and the ""italic"" texts of John Cage; ""Letter, penstroke, paperspace"" - Pound and Joyce as co-respondents; ""To give a design"" - Williams and the visualization of poetry; ""The shape of the lines"" - Oppen and the metric of difference; between verse and prose - Beckett and the New Poetry; from image to action - the return of story in postmodern poetry; postmodernism and the impasse of lyric; ""Unimpededness and interpenetration"" - the poetic of John Cage; the word as such - L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry in the eighties.