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History matters : contemporary poetry on the margins of American culture / Ira Sadoff.

By: Sadoff, Ira.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Iowa City : University of Iowa Press, [2009]Copyright date: ©2009Description: viii, 219 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781587297977 (cloth : alk. paper); 1587297973 (cloth : alk. paper).Subject(s): American poetry -- 20th century -- History and criticism | American poetry -- 21st century -- History and criticism | Literature and society -- United States -- History -- 20th century | Postmodernism (Literature) -- United StatesDDC classification: 811/.540911 LOC classification: PS323.5 | .S23 2009Other classification: HU 1769
Contents:
On the margins: verse poems -- On the margins: prose poems -- Mixed messages: hearing voices -- Form: neoformalism revisited -- History matters: a minority report -- Louise Glück: the death of romanticism -- Trafficking in the radiant: the spiritualizing of American poetry -- Czesław Miłosz: the late style -- Strategic fictions: the mobile architecture of Frank O'Hara's poetry -- C.K. Williams and John Ashbery: on the edge of romanticism and postmodernism -- Olena Kalytiak Davis: revising tradition--the retro-new.
Review: "In this capacious and energetic volume, Ira Sadoff argues that poets live and write within history, our artistic values always reflecting attitudes about both literary history and culture at large. History Matters does not return to the culture war that reduced complex arguments about human nature, creativity, identity, and interplay between individual and collective identity to slogans. Rather, Sadoff peels back layers of clutter to reveal the important questions at the heart of any complex and fruitful discussion about the connections between culture and literature." "Much of our most adventurous writing has occurred at history's margins, simultaneously making use of and resisting tradition. By tracking key contemporary poets - including John Ashbery, Olena Kalytiak Davis, Louise Gluck, Czeslaw Milosz, Frank O'Hara, and C.K. Williams - as well as musing on jazz and other creative enterprises, Sadoff investigates the lively poetic art of those who have grappled with late twentieth-century attitudes about history, subjectivity, contingency, flux, and modernity. In plainspoken writing, he probes the question of the poet's capacity to illuminate and universalize truth. Along the way, we are called to consider how and why art moves and transforms human beings."--Jacket.
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Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
PS323.5 .S23 2009 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001962190

Includes bibliographical references (pages 215-219).

On the margins: verse poems -- On the margins: prose poems -- Mixed messages: hearing voices -- Form: neoformalism revisited -- History matters: a minority report -- Louise Glück: the death of romanticism -- Trafficking in the radiant: the spiritualizing of American poetry -- Czesław Miłosz: the late style -- Strategic fictions: the mobile architecture of Frank O'Hara's poetry -- C.K. Williams and John Ashbery: on the edge of romanticism and postmodernism -- Olena Kalytiak Davis: revising tradition--the retro-new.

"In this capacious and energetic volume, Ira Sadoff argues that poets live and write within history, our artistic values always reflecting attitudes about both literary history and culture at large. History Matters does not return to the culture war that reduced complex arguments about human nature, creativity, identity, and interplay between individual and collective identity to slogans. Rather, Sadoff peels back layers of clutter to reveal the important questions at the heart of any complex and fruitful discussion about the connections between culture and literature." "Much of our most adventurous writing has occurred at history's margins, simultaneously making use of and resisting tradition. By tracking key contemporary poets - including John Ashbery, Olena Kalytiak Davis, Louise Gluck, Czeslaw Milosz, Frank O'Hara, and C.K. Williams - as well as musing on jazz and other creative enterprises, Sadoff investigates the lively poetic art of those who have grappled with late twentieth-century attitudes about history, subjectivity, contingency, flux, and modernity. In plainspoken writing, he probes the question of the poet's capacity to illuminate and universalize truth. Along the way, we are called to consider how and why art moves and transforms human beings."--Jacket.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Himself a poet, Sadoff (Colby College) argues that "marginal" poetic styles have been and continue to be a response to rapid historical change. Acknowledging that poetry has lost its cultural prominence, the author insists that it is unrealistic to hope that poets will regain their authority through a return to traditional poetic values. Instead, he argues for the relevance of experimental poetic forms that seek to relocate the art form in a politically progressive world, and he supports this argument with close readings of the work of individual figures. In frequently and glibly distinguishing between "avant garde" and "conservative" approaches, Sadoff often seems to be restaging old battles. He trumpets the experimentalism of well-established figures (John Ashbery) while warning of a possible resurgence of Romanticism (Louise Gluck). The book remains engaging thanks to Sadoff's persistence in placing US verse in a cultural context. He relates contemporary poetry to right-wing polemicists and postwar verse to Joseph McCarthy and the new critics. Although the resulting insights are not always novel, this lively collection should help stir readers' interest in a culturally and stylistically diverse selection of poets. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates. R. K. Mookerjee Eugene Lang College, The New School for the Liberal Arts

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Ira Sadoff is the Arthur Jeremiah Roberts Professor of English at Colby College. A distinguished, award-winning poet and critic, he is the author of numerous books of poetry, criticism, and essays, including Barter , Grazing , An Ira Sadoff Reader , Emotional Traffic , and Uncoupling , a novel. His poetry has been widely anthologized, most recently in Best Poems of 2008 , edited by Charles Wright.

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