The most widely practiced and read form of verse in America, "elegies are poems about being left behind," writes Max Cavitch. American Elegy is the history of a diverse people's poetic experience of mourning and of mortality's profound challenge to creative living. By telling this history in political, psychological, and aesthetic terms, American Elegy powerfully reconnects the study of early American poetry to the broadest currents of literary and cultural criticism.Cavitch begins by considering eighteenth-century elegists such as Franklin, Bradstreet, Mather, Wheatley, Freneau, and Annis Stockton, highlighting their defiance of boundaries--between public and private, male and female, rational and sentimental--and demonstrating how closely intertwined the work of mourning and the work of nationalism were in the revolutionary era. He then turns to elegy's adaptations during the market-driven Jacksonian age, including more obliquely elegiac poems like those of William Cullen Bryant and the popular child elegies of Emerson, Lydia Sigourney, and others. Devoting unprecedented attention to the early African-American elegy, Cavitch discusses poems written by free blacks and slaves, as well as white abolitionists, seeing in them the development of an African-American genealogical imagination. In addition to a major new reading of Whitman's great elegy for Lincoln, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd," Cavitch takes up less familiar passages from Whitman as well as Melville's and Lazarus's poems following Lincoln's death. American Elegy offers critical and often poignant insights into the place of mourning in American culture. Cavitch examines literary responses to historical events--such as the American Revolution, Native American removal, African-American slavery, and the Civil War--and illuminates the states of loss, hope, desire, and love in American studies today.Max Cavitch is assistant professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.
The New Red Negro surveys African-American poetry from the onset of the Depression to the early days of the Cold War. It considers the relationship between the thematic and formal choices of African-American poets and organized ideology from the proletarian early 1930s to the neo-modernistlate 1940s. This study examines poetry by writers across the spectrum: canonical, less well-known, and virtually unknown.The ideology of the Communist Left as particularly expressed through cultural institutions of the literary Left significantly influenced the shape of African-American poetry in the 1930s and 40s, as well as the content. One result of this engagement of African-American writers with the organizedLeft was a pronounced tendency to regard the re-created folk or street voice as the authentic voice--and subject--of African-American poetry. Furthermore, a masculinist rhetoric was crucial to the re-creation of this folk voice.This unstable yoking of cultural nationalism, integrationism, and internationalism within a construct of class struggle helped to shape a new relationship of African-American poetry to vernacular African-American culture. This relationship included the representation of African-American workingclass and rural folk life and its cultural products ostensibly from the mass perspective. It also included the dissemination of urban forms of African-American popular culture, often resulting in mixed media high- low hybrids.
Explorers, colonists, native peoples?all played a role in early American settlement, and the legacy they left was a turbulent one. During the first three decades of the twentieth century, as the United States asserted itself as a world power, poets began to revisit this legacy and to create their own interpretations of national history. In The Colonial Moment, Jeffrey Westover shows how five major poets?Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost, Hart Crane, and Langston Hughes?drew from national conflicts to assess America's new role as world leader. Sensitive to the nation's memory of colonial brutality, these poets mingled their pride in America with moral protest against racism. Some identified a dark side to the nation's history, particularly in the conflicts between white pioneers and Native Americans, that haunted their otherwise confident celebrations of patriotism. Others used poetry as a vehicle of discovery to challenge existing historical accounts or to criticize the failures of American democracy. Investigating these five major writers in terms of their cultural and political moment, Westover demonstrates how they dramatized the process of nation-building. Colonization inevitably results in a sense of displacement. Each of these five poets struggled with such cultural alienation?especially those who belonged to a racial, sexual, or gender minority. They endeavored to unite their voices in a "vocabulary of the national," a search to define the concept of "we" that would encompass all modern readers while recognizing those whom previous generations had dismissed. In this way, each writer hoped to redeem the country's losses symbolically through language.
A literary landmark- the biggest, most ambitious anthology of Black poetry ever published, gathering 250 poets from the colonial period to the present Across a turbulent history, from such vital centers as Harlem, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and the Bay Area, Black poets created a rich and multifaceted tradition that has been both a reckoning with American realities and an imaginative response to them. Capturing the power and beauty of this diverse tradition in a single indispensable volume, African American Poetry reveals as never before its centrality and its challenge to American poetry and culture. One of the great American art forms, African American poetry encompasses many kinds of verse- formal, experimental, vernacular, lyric, and protest. The anthology opens with moving testaments to the power of poetry as a means of self-assertion, as enslaved people like Phillis Wheatley and George Moses Horton and activist Frances Ellen Watkins Harper voice their passionate resistance to slavery. Young's fresh, revelatory presentation of the Harlem Renaissance reexamines the achievements of Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen alongside works by lesser-known poets such as Gwendolyn B. Bennett and Mae V. Cowdery. The later flowering of the still influential Black Arts Movement is represented here with breadth and originality, including many long out-of-print or hard-to-find poems. Here are all the significant movements and currents- the nineteenth-century Francophone poets known as Les Cenelles, the Chicago Renaissance that flourished around Gwendolyn Brooks, the early 1960s Umbra group, and the more recent work of writers affiliated with Cave Canem and the Dark Room Collective. Here too are poems of singular, hard-to-classify figures- the enslaved potter David Drake, the allusive modernist Melvin B. Tolson, the Cleveland-based experimentalist Russell Atkins. This Library of America volume also features biographies of each poet and notes that illuminate cultural references and allusions to historical events.
"A debut poetry collection showcasing both a fierce and tender new voice."--Booklist "Elegant and playful . . . The poet invents new forms and updates classic ones."--Elle "[Fatimah] Asghar interrogates divisions along lines of nationality, age, and gender, illuminating the forces by which identity is fixed or flexible."--The New Yorker NAMED ONE OF THE TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY * FINALIST FOR THE LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD an aunt teaches me how to tell an edible flower from a poisonous one. just in case, I hear her say, just in case. From a co-creator of the Emmy-nominated web series Brown Girls comes an imaginative, soulful debut poetry that collection captures the experiences of being a young Pakistani Muslim woman in contemporary America. Orphaned as a child, Fatimah Asghar grapples with coming of age and navigating questions of sexuality and race without the guidance of a mother or father. These poems at once bear anguish, joy, vulnerability, and compassion, while also exploring the many facets of violence: how it persists within us, how it is inherited across generations, and how it manifests itself in our relationships. In experimental forms and language both lyrical and raw, Asghar seamlessly braids together marginalized people's histories with her own understanding of identity, place, and belonging. Praise for If They Come for Us "In forms both traditional . . . and unorthodox . . . Asghar interrogates divisions along lines of nationality, age, and gender, illuminating the forces by which identity is fixed or flexible. Most vivid and revelatory are pieces such as 'Boy,' whose perspicacious turns and irreverent idiom conjure the rich, jagged textures of a childhood shadowed by loss."--The New Yorker "[Asghar's] debut poetry collection cemented her status as one of the city's greatest present-day poets. . . . A stunning work of art that tackles place, race, sexuality and violence. These poems--both personal and historical, both celebratory and aggrieved--are unquestionably powerful in a way that would doubtless make both Gwendolyn Brooks and Harriet Monroe proud."--Chicago Review of Books "Taut lines, vivid language, and searing images range cover to cover. . . . Inventive, sad, gripping, and beautiful."--Library Journal (starred review)
A companion volume to Against Forgetting, Poetry of Witness is the first anthology to reveal a tradition that runs through English-language poetry. The 300 poems collected here were composed at an extreme of human endurance--while their authors awaited execution, endured imprisonment, fought on the battlefield, or labored on the brink of breakdown or death. All bear witness to historical events and the irresistibility of their impact. Alongside Shakespeare, Milton, and Wordsworth, this volume includes such writers as Anne Askew, tortured and executed for her religious beliefs during the reign of Henry VIII; Phillis Wheatley, abducted by slave traders; Samuel Bamford, present at the Peterloo Massacre in 1819; William Blake, who witnessed the Gordon Riots of 1780; and Samuel Menashe, survivor of the Battle of the Bulge. Poetry of Witness argues that such poets are a perennial feature of human history, and it presents the best of that tradition, proving that their work ranks alongside the greatest in the language.
Bloom's stand-alone introduction to The Best Poems of the English Language A notable feature of Harold Bloom's poetry anthology The Best Poems English Language is his lengthy introductory essay, here reprinted as a separate book. For the first time Bloom gives his readers an elegant guide to reading poetry--a master critic's distillation of a lifetime of teaching and criticism. He tackles such subjects as poetic voice, the nature of metaphor and allusion, and the nature of poetic value itself. Blooms writes "the work of great poetry is to aid us to become free artists of ourselves." This essay is an invaluable guide to poetry. This edition will also include a recommended reading list of poems.
Number 137/138 in Yale French Studies, this collection of essays examines poetry in French by authors from across the Maghreb Although in recent years Maghrebi literature written in French has enjoyed increased critical attention, less attention has been paid specifically to the genre of poetry. The sixteen essays collected in this special issue of Yale French Studies show how the poem provides a uniquely privileged perspective from which to examine questions relating to aesthetics, linguistics, philosophy, history, autobiography, gender, the visual arts, colonial and postcolonial society and politics, and issues relating to the post-Arab Spring.
A new collection of poetry from an American literary legend, her first in twenty-five years Joyce Carol Oates is one of our most insightful observers of the human heart and mind, and, with her acute social consciousness, one of the most insistent and inspired witnesses of a shared American history. Oates is perhaps best known for her prodigious output of novels and short stories, many of which have become contemporary classics. However, Oates has also always been a faithful writer of poetry. American Melancholy showcases some of her finest work of the last few decades. Covering subjects big and small, and written in an immediate and engaging style, this collection touches on both the personal and political. Loss, love, and memory are investigated, along with the upheavals of our modern age, the reality of our current predicaments, and the ravages of poverty, racism, and social unrest. Oates skillfully writes characters ranging from a former doctor at a Chinese People's Liberation Army hospital to Little Albert, a six-month-old infant who took part in a famous study that revealed evidence of classical conditioning in human beings.
John Milton is regarded as the greatest English poet after Shakespeare. Yet for sublimity and philosophical grandeur, Milton stands almost alone in world literature. His peers are Homer, Virgil, Dante, Wordsworth, and Goethe: poets who achieve a total ethical and spiritual vision of the world. In this panoramic interpretation, the distinguished Milton scholar Gordon Teskey shows how the poet's changing commitments are subordinated to an aesthetic that joins beauty to truth and value to ethics. The art of poetry is rediscovered by Milton as a way of thinking in the world as it is, and for the world as it can be. Milton's early poems include the heroic Nativity Ode; the seductive paired poems "L'Allegro" and "Il Penseroso"; the mythological pageant Comus, with its comically diabolical enchanter and its serious debate on the human use of nature; and "Lycidas," perhaps the greatest short poem in English and a prophecy of vast human displacements in the modern world. Teskey follows Milton's creative development in three phases, from the idealistic transcendence of the poems written in his twenties to the political engagement of the gritty, hard-hitting poems of his middle years. The third phase is that of "transcendental engagement," in the heaven-storming epic Paradise Lost, and the great works that followed it: the intense intellectual debate Paradise Regained, and the tragedy Samson Agonistes.
At a time when a woman speaking before a mixed-gender audience risked acquiring the label "promiscuous," thousands of women presented their views about social or moral issues through sentimental poetry, a blend of affect with intellect that allowed their participation in public debate. Bridging literary and rhetorical histories, traditional and semiotic interpretations, Antebellum American Women's Poetry: A Rhetoric of Sentiment explores an often overlooked, yet significant and persuasive pre-Civil War American discourse. Considering the logos, ethos, and pathos--aims, writing personae, and audience appeal--of poems by African American abolitionist Frances Watkins Harper, working-class prophet Lydia Huntley Sigourney, and feminist socialite Julia Ward Howe, Wendy Dasler Johnson demonstrates that sentimental poetry was an inportant component of antebellum social activism. She articulates the ethos of the poems of Harper, who presents herself as a properly domestic black woman, nevertheless stepping boldly into Northern pulpits to insist slavery be abolished; the poetry of Sigourney, whose speaker is a feisty, working-class, ambiguously gendered prophet; and the works of Howe, who juggles her fame as the reformist "Battle Hymn" lyricist and motherhood of five children with an erotic Continental sentimentalism. Antebellum American Women's Poetry makes a strong case for restoration of a compelling system of persuasion through poetry usually dismissed from studies of rhetoric. This remarkable book will change the way we think about women's rhetoric in the nineteenth century, inviting readers to hear and respond to urgent, muffled appeals for justice in our own day.
Winner of the 2019 Lilla A. Heston Award Co-winner of the 2018 Ethnography Division's Best Book from the NCA In recent decades, poetry slams and the spoken word artists who compete in them have sparked a resurgent fascination with the world of poetry. However, there is little critical dialogue that fully engages with the cultural complexities present in slam and spoken word poetry communities, as well as their ramifications. In Killing Poetry, renowned slam poet, Javon Johnson unpacks some of the complicated issues that comprise performance poetry spaces. He argues that the truly radical potential in slam and spoken word communities lies not just in proving literary worth, speaking back to power, or even in altering power structures, but instead in imagining and working towards altogether different social relationships. His illuminating ethnography provides a critical history of the slam, contextualizes contemporary black poets in larger black literary traditions, and does away with the notion that poetry slams are inherently radically democratic and utopic. Killing Poetry--at times autobiographical, poetic, and journalistic--analyzes the masculine posturing in the Southern California community in particular, the sexual assault in the national community, and the ways in which related social media inadvertently replicate many of the same white supremacist, patriarchal, and mainstream logics so many spoken word poets seem to be working against. Throughout, Johnson examines the promises and problems within slam and spoken word, while illustrating how community is made and remade in hopes of eventually creating the radical spaces so many of these poets strive to achieve.
During the late 1960s, throughout the 1970s, and into the 1980s, New York City poets and musicians played together, published each other, and inspired one another to create groundbreaking art. In "Do You Have a Band?", Daniel Kane reads deeply across poetry and punk music to capture this compelling exchange and its challenge to the status of the visionary artist, the cultural capital of poetry, and the lines dividing sung lyric from page-bound poem. Kane reveals how the new sounds of proto-punk and punk music found their way into the poetry of the 1960s and 1970s downtown scene, enabling writers to develop fresh ideas for their own poetics and performance styles. Likewise, groups like The Fugs and the Velvet Underground drew on writers as varied as William Blake and Delmore Schwartz for their lyrics. Drawing on a range of archival materials and oral interviews, Kane also shows how and why punk musicians drew on and resisted French Symbolist writing, the vatic resonance of the Beat chant, and, most surprisingly and complexly, the New York Schools of poetry. In bringing together the music and writing of Richard Hell, Patti Smith, and Jim Carroll with readings of poetry by Anne Waldman, Eileen Myles, Ted Berrigan, John Giorno, and Dennis Cooper, Kane provides a fascinating history of this crucial period in postwar American culture and the cultural life of New York City.
Here is the first anthology to present a full range of multilingual poetries from Latin America, covering over 500 years of a poetic tradition as varied, robust, and vividly imaginative as any in the world.Editors Cecilia Vicu~na and Ernesto Livon-Grosman present a fresh and expansive selection of Latin American poetry, from the indigenous responses to the European conquest, through early feminist poetry of the 19th century, the early 20th century "Modernismo" and "Vanguardia" movements, laterrevolutionary and liberation poetry of the 1960s, right up to the experimental, visual and oral poetries being written and performed today. Here readers will find several types of poetry typically overlooked in major anthologies, such as works written or chanted in their native languages, thevibrant mestizo (mixed) creations derived from the rich matrix of spoken language in Latin America, and even the mysterious verses written in made-up languages. In addition to the giants of Latin American poetry, such as Cesar Vallejo, Vicente Huidobro, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz, Haroldo and Augustode Campos, and Gabriela Mistral, the editors have included a selection of vital but lesser known poets such as Pablo de Rohka, Blanca Varela, and Cecilia Meireles, as well as previously untranslated works by Simo n Rodriguez, Bartolome Hidalgo, Oliverio Girondo, Rosa Araneda, and many others. Inall, the anthology presents more than 120 poets, many in new translations-by poets such as Jerome Rothengerg, W.S. Merwin, and Forrest Gander-specially commissioned for this anthology, and each accompanied by a biographical note. The book features both English and original language versions of thepoems, a full bibliography, and an introduction by the editors.Sure to stand as the definitive anthology for decades to come, The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry remaps the territory, offering new ways of looking at a poetry as diverse and complex as Latin America itself.
Latin Americans have written some of the world's finest poetry in the twentieth century, as the Nobel Prizes awarded to Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda, and Octavio Paz attest. Yet this rich literary production has never been gathered into a single volume that attempts to represent the full range and the most important writers-until now. Here, under one cover, are the major poets and their major works, which appear both in the original language (Spanish or Portuguese) and in excellent English translations. The poems selected include the most famous representative poems of each poetic tradition, accompanied by other poems that represent the best of that tradition and of each poet's work within it. Tapscott's selections cover the full range, from the Modernist generation though the Mexican Revolutionary post-Moderns and the Vanguardist poets to very contemporary younger writers of political and experimental commitments. In all, eighty-five poets, including Pablo Neruda, Nicanor Parra, Octavio Paz, Gabriela Mistral, Nicolás Guillén, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortazar, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Carlos Pellicer, César Vallejo, and Cecília Meireles, and over 400 poems are included, often in translations by some of North America's most esteemed poets.
Her vision and politics have set her at the forefront of contemporary poetry and her work has a far-reaching impact on all poets and readers of poetry today. A dedicated and inspired teacher, her innovative and highly successful poetry program, Poetry for the People, has recently emerged as a national phenomenon.
This is a compilation of poetry written by Arabic women poets from pre-Islamic times to the end of the Abbasid caliphate and Andalusia, and offers translations of over 200 poets together with literary commentary on the poets and their poetry. This critical anthology presents the poems of more than 200 Arabic women poets active from the 600s through the 1400s CE. It marks the first appearance in English translation for many of these poems. The volume includes biographical information about the poets, as well as an analysis of the development of women's poetry in classical Arabic literature that places the women and the poems within their cultural context. The book fills a noticeable void in modern English-language scholarship on Arabic women, and has important implications for the fields of world and Arabic literature as well as gender and women's studies. The book will be a fascinating and vital text for students and researchers in the fields of Gender Studies and Middle Eastern studies, as well as scholars and students of translation studies, comparative literature, literary theory, gender studies, Arabic literature, and culture and classics. lds of Gender Studies and Middle Eastern studies, as well as scholars and students of translation studies, comparative literature, literary theory, gender studies, Arabic literature, and culture and classics.
Samuel Beckett began his career by publishing poems in literary reviews in Paris during the 1930s, and--although primarily considered a playwright and novelist--he continued writing poetry throughout his life. This new, definitive volume presents Beckett's poetry in the order it was composed, from pre-war to post-war, and contains previously unpublished and never-before-reprinted work. Along with his translations of Apollinaire, Mallarme, Rimbaud, and many others, this book brings together all of the pieces from Collected Poems in English and French, selections from Mexican Poetry: An Anthology (translated by Beckett), and poems that appeared in his novels and plays. Extensive critical notes by editors Seán Lawlor and John Pilling detail the circumstances of their composition, explaining obscure allusions and references (frequently sourced to Beckett's notebooks), and identifying resonances across his oeuvre. Poetry allowed Beckett to reconcile his penchant for opulent phrasing with his preference for minimalism, and it profoundly influenced his approach to the drama and fiction for which he's revered. This complete collection is an informative and essential addition to the libraries of Beckett's readers.
More than ever before, poetry plays an active role in public consciousness, and the burgeoning queer poetry world is forming a culture of its own. In the first substantial collection of gay/lesbian poetry in over a decade, editors Georgiou and Lassell present significant work by 46 working poets at the height of their creative powers. From major, established poets such as Marilyn Hacker, J.D. McClatchy, Olga Broumas, and Mark Doty, among many others, to emerging artists like Letta Neely, Justin Chin, Mark Wunderlich, Regie Cabico, and more, The World in Us is poetry of the necessary word.
This new volume of JHU Press's landmark Shelley edition contains posthumous poems edited from original manuscripts. "The world will surely one day feel what it has lost," wrote Mary Shelley after Percy Bysshe Shelley's premature death in July 1822. Determined to hasten that day, she recovered his unpublished and uncollected poems and sifted through his surviving notebooks and papers. In Genoa during the winter of 1822-23, she painstakingly transcribed poetry "interlined and broken into fragments, so that the sense could only be deciphered and joined by guesses." Blasphemy and sedition laws prevented her from including her husband's most outspoken radical works, but the resulting volume, Posthumous Poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley (1824), was a magnificent display of Shelley's versatility and craftsmanship between 1816 and 1822. Few such volumes have made more difference to an author's reputation. The seventh volume of the acclaimed Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelleyextracts fromPosthumous Poems those original poems and fragments Mary Shelley edited. The collection opens with Shelley's enigmatic dream vision The Triumph of Life, the last major poem he began--and, in the opinion of T. S. Eliot, the finest thing he ever wrote. There follow some of the most famous and beautiful of Shelley's short lyrics, narrative fragments, two unfinished plays, and other previously unreleased pieces. Upholding the standards of accuracy and comprehensiveness set by previous volumes, every item in Volume 7 has been newly edited from the original manuscripts, in some cases superseding texts that have stood since 1870. Extensive appendixes contain Mary Shelley's preface to Posthumous Poems, Shelley's source for "Ginevra," and preparatory material for his playCharles the First. Wide-ranging discussions of the poems' composition, influences, publication, circulation, reception, and critical history accompany detailed records of textual variants for each work. The editorial overview and commentaries offer insights into Mary Shelley's editorial strategies while proposing surprising new contexts and redatings. Volumes 4 to 6 are in preparation.