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 rather American poetic culture used to be solidified within the later half the 20th century, therefore severing it from British conventions. In Gelpi's view, what distinguishes the yankee poetic culture from the British is that on the middle of the yank exercise is a main 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 potential to be a poet and, likewise, how the phrases of a poem create which means, supply perception into truth, and solution the final word questions of dwelling. via chapters dedicated to particular poets, Gelpi explores this paradox via supplying an unique and insightful studying of past due twentieth-century American poetry.
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The poet addresses his drowned cousin as the Everyman of this drama, and he speaks from the Nantucket graveyard where the markers contain no bones for the Quakers drowned at sea, who were, for all their professed pacifism, major actors in the whaling industry and slave trade of nineteenth-century New England. The propulsive surge and sonorous sound of the rhetoric drive through the rhymed but enjambed lines, and the sections alternate between moving out to sea and back to home port. ” The question is ironic, since divinity acts as avenging agent in the tragic action: Poseidon is the sea’s “hell-bent diety,” “the earth-shaker, green, unwearied, chaste”; Ahab’s God is “IS the whited monster,” the faceless and omnipotent “I AM” whose instrument and symbol is the white whale.
17). The extraordinary compression of the blunt statement identifying Jonah with the whale that swallowed him allows for different but convergent readings of the whale as IS. What if the whale is not the faceless Yahweh whose face is Moby-Dick but, almost incredibly, is Iesus Salvator, God incarnate slain by our sins for our own salvation? 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.
He was the leading confessional poet, whose song of himself was the poetry of personality; indeed, he was the most honored and celebrated heir to all that they wanted to repudiate in the Romantic/Modernist aesthetic. In Jed Rasula’s The American Poetry Wax Museum (1996), the title of one of the chapters repeats the title of The Language of Crisis 35 Ehrenpreis’s 1965 essay “The Age of Lowell” and then mockingly strikes out the first three words with a canceling line. . ” Lowell would never see language as an autonomous semiotic code that determines the poem’s indeterminacies.