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By Albert Gelpi

Albert Gelpi's American Poetry after Modernism is a examine of fourteen significant American poets of the postwar interval, from Robert Lowell to Adrienne wealthy. Gelpi argues notably American poetic culture was once solidified within the later half the 20th century, therefore severing it from British conventions. In Gelpi's view, what distinguishes the yank poetic culture from the British is that on the middle of the yank exercise is a first-rate wondering of functionality and medium. the executive paradox in American poetry is the inability of a convention that calls for answering and redefining - redefining what it capability to be a poet and, likewise, how the phrases of a poem create that means, supply perception into truth, and solution the last word questions of dwelling. via chapters dedicated to particular poets, Gelpi explores this paradox via delivering an unique and insightful analyzing of overdue twentieth-century American poetry.

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Extra resources for American Poetry After Modernism: The Power of the Word

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Pound’s dictum “Make it new” put equal emphasis on “make” and “new” to proclaim the creative and recreative power of the medium. ” But that “as if ” registers a hesitation that haunted them and foreshadowed, in the generation after Lowell and Berryman, the Postmodern deconstruction of the Modernist insistence on the art work’s integrity and the power of the medium to find or make order. For if literary and artistic Modernism arose out of the crisis that culminated in World War I, it did not survive the horrors of World War II: bombardment of London and Hamburg and Berlin, the death camps of Auschwitz and Dachau, the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

What if Jonah is not the whale’s victim but, within the whale, the type of the crucified Jesus? If our slaying of Jesus is, paradoxically, our salvation, then the slayer’s prayer has to be for Jonas Messias to take into Himself the deadly violation of our sin and thereby, mysteriously, absolve it. The double sense of “hide” as “conceal” and “shield” pivots on the turn of the line and enacts the miraculous transformation. Then the final sections of the poem move through two further and different modulations.

Most startlingly and powerfully, “Home,” written after another hospital bout, invokes the Virgin Mary for the first time since “Beyond the Alps,” and, as if in negation of that poem’s negation (“But who believed this?  825): I cannot sit or stand two minutes, yet walk imagining a dialogue between the devil and myself, The Language of Crisis 39 not knowing which is which or worse, saying, as one would instinctively say Hail Mary, I wish I could die. Less than ever I expect to be alive six months from now – 1976, a date I dare not affix to my grave.

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