A Coherent Splendor: The American Poetic Renaissance, by Albert Gelpi

By Albert Gelpi

During this e-book Professor Gelpi strains the emergence of yankee Modernist poetry as a response to, and outgrowth of, the Romantic ideology of the 19th century. He specializes in the amazing new release of poets who got here to adulthood within the years of the 1st international conflict and whose works represent the primary physique of poetic Modernism in English. this huge historic argument is constructed via monographic chapters at the poets which come with shut readings in their significant poems. finished in scope and sophisticated in its research, Gelpi's publication supplies to be one of many significant reports of yank poetry for years yet to come.

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Example text

Its cloud of froth was whiter than the cloud That clothed the goddess sliding down the air Unto a mountain shepherd, white as she That issues from the smoke refulgently. The cloud was, but the goddess was not there. Deafening was the sound, but never a voice That talked with him; spacious the spectacle But it spelled nothing; there was not any spell Whether to bid him cower or rejoice. What would he have it spell? He scarcely knew; Only that water and nothing but water filled His eyes and ears; only water that spilled; And if the smoke and rattle of water drew From the deep thickets of his mind the train, The fierce fauns and the timid tenants there That burst their bonds and rushed upon the air, Why, he must turn and beat them down again.

57 30 A COHERENT SPLENDOR "Directive,"58 one of the finest of Frost's later poems, seeks to press beyond irony to something like Emersonian acceptance of nature, though on naturalistic rather than transcendental grounds. The poem summons us to the source by losing us in the woods down £ path overgrown but still showing wheel tracks across the glacier lines. Long, loose sentences of witty blank verse draw us back and back through geological aeons to "a house that is no more a house / Upon a farm that is no more a farm / And in a town that is no more a town," and beyond the clearing (soon to be no more a clearing) to a brook still flowing as it had and would: "Here are your waters and your watering place.

The mock-elegiac humor rescues the poem both from the disturbing grief of a lament like "Lycidas" or "In Memoriam" and from the bathetic sentimentality of a lament for a hen. The first lines play with the ambiguities of sleeping and waking, and the pun on "morning" and "mourning" ("till it was deeply morning") anticipates the impending revelation. The object of the child's attention is introduced anticlimactically at the end of the third line, where "hen" rhymes flatly with "then" in the line above.

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