Lyric Encounters Essays on American Poetry From Lazarus and Frost to Ortiz Cofer and Alexie

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-05-23
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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A new survey of twentieth-century U.S. poetry that places a special emphasis on poets who have put lyric poetry in dialogue with other forms of creative expression, including modern art, the novel, jazz, memoir, and letters. Contesting readings of twentieth-century American poetry as hermetic and narcissistic, Morris interprets the lyric as a scene of instruction and thus as a public-oriented genre. American poets from Robert Frost to Sherman Alexie bring aesthetics to bear on a exchange that asks readers to think carefully about the ethical demands of reading texts as a reflection of how we metaphorically "read" the world around us and the persons, places, and things in it. His survey focuses on poems that foreground scenes of conversation, teaching, and debate involving a strong-willed lyric speaker and another self, bent on resisting how the speaker imagines the world.

Author Biography

Daniel Morris is Professor of English at Purdue University, USA. He is author of The Writings of William Carlos Williams: Publicity for the Self (University of Missouri Press, 1995), Remarkable Modernisms: Contemporary American Authors on Modern Art (University of Massachusetts Press, 2002), The Poetry of Louise Glück: A Thematic Introduction (University of Missouri Press, 2006), and After Weegee: Essays on Contemporary Jewish American Photographers (Syracuse University Press, 2011). He has also published two volumes of poetry, Bryce Passage (Marsh Hawk Press, 2004) and If Not for the Courage (Marsh Hawk, 2010). He is coeditor of Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction/ 2. Movement and Restraint in Robert Frost's "Mending Wall"/ 3. Resisting Poetry and Resistant Poetry: Aesthetics and the Search for Meaning While Teaching Billy Collins's "Introduction to Poetry" /4. "Go Home And Write A Page Tonight": Subversive Irony and Resistant Reading in Langston Hughes's "Theme For English B" /5. "The Word Gets Around": Leslie Marmon Silko's Theory of Narrative Survival in The Delicacy and Strength of Lace / 6. The Erotics of Close Reading: Williams, Demuth, and "The Crimson Cyclamen" / 7. Homosocial Black Male Desire As Mediated Through the Horn and the Pen: Elegy as Love Letter or Love Letter as Elegy in Michael S. Harper's "Dear John, Dear Coltrane" / 8. Active and Passive Citizenship in Emma Lazarus's "The New Colossus" and Judith Ortiz Cofer's "The Latin Deli: An Ars Poetica"/ 9. Lyric Dialogism and the Disestablishment of the Cold War Containment Ideological Formation in Allen Ginsberg's "America"/ 10. Frank Bidart's Voice and the Erasure of Jewish Difference in "Ellen West" / 11. Before and After the Fall: Tribalism and Multicultural Poetics in Sherman Alexie/ 12. Coda: Robert Frost's "Mending Wall": The Case for the Humanities Classroom / Bibliography / Index

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