Download A Coherent Splendor: The American Poetic Renaissance, by Albert Gelpi PDF

By Albert Gelpi

During this booklet Professor Gelpi lines the emergence of yank Modernist poetry as a response to, and outgrowth of, the Romantic ideology of the 19th century. He makes a speciality of the notable iteration of poets who got here to adulthood within the years of the 1st global warfare and whose works represent the vital physique of poetic Modernism in English. this huge ancient argument is built via monographic chapters at the poets which come with shut readings in their significant poems. accomplished in scope and refined in its research, Gelpi's publication offers to be one of many significant stories of yankee poetry for future years.

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The intricate verbal play in the narrator's presentation is meant to keep us aware simultaneously of the smallness of the event and the enormity of its implications, so that we smile at Janet lest we weep with her. The mock-elegiac humor rescues the poem both from the disturbing grief of a lament like "Lycidas" or "In Memoriam" and from the bathetic sentimentality of a lament for a hen. The first lines play with the ambiguities of sleeping and waking, and the pun on "morning" and "mourning" ("till it was deeply morning") anticipates the impending revelation.

70 Ransom's southern girls and ladies are presented with an ironic detachment that distinguishes them from Poe's melodramatic dream women, but Ransom's remark to Tate, who was himself fascinated with Poe, reflects his intuition that such anima figures function for male poets as projections of their anxieties about body and soul. "Janet Waking" deserves extended explication as an illustration of the quality of Ransom's irony and paradox in treating mortality and as an illustration of the minute attention to language and technical devices which the New Criticism expected: Beautifully Janet slept Till it was deeply morning.

57 30 A COHERENT SPLENDOR "Directive,"58 one of the finest of Frost's later poems, seeks to press beyond irony to something like Emersonian acceptance of nature, though on naturalistic rather than transcendental grounds. The poem summons us to the source by losing us in the woods down £ path overgrown but still showing wheel tracks across the glacier lines. Long, loose sentences of witty blank verse draw us back and back through geological aeons to "a house that is no more a house / Upon a farm that is no more a farm / And in a town that is no more a town," and beyond the clearing (soon to be no more a clearing) to a brook still flowing as it had and would: "Here are your waters and your watering place.

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