By Harold Bloom
The increase of modernism marked one of many significant transitional classes in modern literature. the yankee modernist poets created a wealthy legacy of their verse explorations of an international touched via struggle, fast industrialization, and the turning out to be perceived alienation of the person. The innovators featured during this quantity contain Ezra Pound, e.e. cummings, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Carl Sandburg and their abiding affects. severe essays learn those poets and their works, with a chronology, bibliography, index, and an introductory essay by way of grasp student Harold Bloom finishing the identify.
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Extra info for American Modernist Poets (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)
Emerson, I think, returns in his own trope of self-identification, the Transparent Eyeball, yet in Pound’s voice, since Emerson was at most Pound’s American grandfather. But Whitman returns in Whitman’s own voice and even in his own image of voice, the “tally,” because the obstinate old father’s voice remains strong enough to insist on itself: “Fvy! in Tdaenmarck efen dh’ beasantz gnow him,” meaning Whitman, exotic, still suspect four miles from Camden “O troubled reflections “O Throat, O throbbing heart” How drawn, O GEA TERRA, what draws as thou drawest till one sink into thee by an arm’s width embracing thee.
The unbeliever, dreaming catastrophe, is an Emily Dickinson or an Elizabeth Bishop. Where Stevens or Crane asserts the power of the poet’s mind over the sea or universe of death, Bishop observes the sea accurately in her dream: which was, “I must not fall. The spangled sea below wants me to fall. ” One suspects she meant “useless” as Oscar Wilde meant it: to be free of moralizing purposes. Bishop is one of the major American poets, the peer of Whitman and Dickinson, Frost and Stevens, Eliot and Hart Crane.
By recalling Dada’s most colorful slogans, of course, Williams involves himself in an inextricable paradox: he shows that he can’t forget Dada’s ideal of forgetfulness. Furthermore, Williams’ very act of attempting an epic is a profound reenactment of literary tradition, an affirmation of the past’s enduring power. Hence Williams’ allusions to Dada in Paterson not only raise the question of what role Dadaist ideas could play in the overall organization of his poem, particularly its use of collage; they also require us to consider how Williams’ long poem remembers epic tradition even though it may also give the illusion of erasing or repressing it.