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The Poetry and the Public: Where Lyric Meets Language

  • Paperback
Since Romanticism, poetry has reigned as the most exalted of literary forms; consequently, as Joseph Harrington argues in this new study, public debates about the nature and function of poetry are really debates about larger cultural and political values. In Poetry and the Public, Harrington sheds new light on changes in the textual form of poems, the critical reception of poems, debates in the popular press about the nature of poetry and the poetic theories of poets. The period 1910-1940 represents a major transition in the social meaning of poetry in the U.S. Harrington focuses on three important factions of the US poetry scene during these years. The first, popularizers, wished to retain the older, popular notion of poetry as a public art, a communal experience shared between writer and readers. The second, high modernists, responded with the well-known notions of the self-sufficient art object and the autonomous artist who held no responsibility to a reading public or public affairs. The third group, poets of the radical labor movement of the 1910s, combined aspects of both popular and modernist poetries in order to intervene in specific historical settings or to interact with specific audiences. Poetry and the Public shows how this more public tendency in poetry evolved into the latter half of the 20th century in forms such as poetry slams and community-based workshops, and how the history of poetry can help us understand the genre's relative absence from histories of American literature.
The Poetry and the Public: Where Lyric Meets Language
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Since Romanticism, poetry has reigned as the most exalted of literary forms; consequently, as Joseph Harrington argues in this new study, public debates about the nature and function of poetry are really debates about larger cultural and political values. In Poetry and the Public, Harrington sheds new light on changes in the textual form of poems, the critical reception of poems, debates in the popular press about the nature of poetry and the poetic theories of poets. The period 1910-1940 represents a major transition in the social meaning of poetry in the U.S. Harrington focuses on three important factions of the US poetry scene during these years. The first, popularizers, wished to retain the older, popular notion of poetry as a public art, a communal experience shared between writer and readers. The second, high modernists, responded with the well-known notions of the self-sufficient art object and the autonomous artist who held no responsibility to a reading public or public affairs. The third group, poets of the radical labor movement of the 1910s, combined aspects of both popular and modernist poetries in order to intervene in specific historical settings or to interact with specific audiences. Poetry and the Public shows how this more public tendency in poetry evolved into the latter half of the 20th century in forms such as poetry slams and community-based workshops, and how the history of poetry can help us understand the genre's relative absence from histories of American literature.
Joseph Harrington is a Professor of History at Framingham State College.
While the summertime shuttering of Borders might have given readers a sense that books are in diminuendo, American poets chorused powerfully for one of their best years. Midwesterners showed especially strongly with worthy entries from Rodney Jones, Carl Phillips, Devin Johnston, Joseph Harrington, Tony Trigilio and many others. James Henderson, St. Louis Times Dispatch"
Author
Joseph Harrington
Pages
224
Language
English
ISBN-10
0819565385
ISBN-13
9780819565389
Media
Book
Format
Paperback
DEWEY
811.509
Illustrations
Yes
Year
2002
Publication Date
2002-03-31
Imprint
Wesleyan University Press
Subtitle
The Social Form of Modern U.S. Poetics
Place of Publication
Hanover
Country of Publication
United States
Publisher
Wesleyan
Residence
CA, US
Birth
1908
Short Title
POETRY & THE PUBLIC
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