Stephen Fredman asserts in his latest work that American poetry is groundless - that each generation of American poets faces the problem of identity anew and must discover for itself fresh meaning. His argument focuses on four pairs of poets - Eliot/Williams, Thoreau/Olson, Emerson/Duncan, and Whitman/Creeley - and points out that although Williams, Olson, Duncan, and Creeley are all influenced by these predecessors to some extent, ultimately their poetry is, paradoxically, grounded in an essential groundlessness.
In order to demonstrate how approaches to groundlessness have persisted over time, Fredman explores the various measures taken by these American poets to provide a provisional ground upon which to construct their poetry: inventing idiosyncratic traditions, forming poetic communities, engaging in polemical prose, assessing all the dimensions of particular places, and treating words as emblematic and mysterious objects. At the very core of the book stands Charles Olson, whose work so dramatically articulates the whole range of issues arising from the American poet's anxious search for, and resistance to, an authentic and unified tradition.
"..six chapters of excellent close readings." Choice "Cogent, persuasive and at times dazzling, this book makes an impressive and innovative contribution to understanding the influence of Emerson and the transcendentalists on the Black Mountain poets in particular, but also American poetic practice in general." Tim Woods, English
|Williams, Eliot and American tradition|
|Finding out for oneself|
|Resistance and poetic community|
|The poetics of recognition|
|Circles and boundaries|
|Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.|
Series: Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture
Number Of Pages: 186
Published: 28th May 1993
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2 x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.45