Plain Folk and Gentry in a Slave Society: White Liberty and Black Slavery in Augusta's Hinterlands

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Overview

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LSU Press

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Two rather similar poetry collections, both by poets with MFAs. Such is their similarity that it is at first difficult to distinguish their different voices. Karr's work, though still uneven, has an edge in that it appears more metaphysical than Bryan's. It is also more strongly integrated, being interspersed with a subseries of poems, the Diogenes poems, that acts as a strategic punctuation. While Bryan's collection, though at times ascending to the welkin, does contain a sequence of poems based on Proust, it has a harder time moving away from the more mundane topics that she chooses to ``describe'' baseball, school memories, looking at paintings. Her best efforts may be in the long, final poem ``Abiding Love,'' if only because it surveys a wider speculative terrain and indicates a familiarity with the body of traditional poetry. Both poets have a common prosaic diction e.g., Karr's ``I trudged through snow to the mailbox,'' from ``Exile's Letter'' that seemingly betrays a fear of spontaneity, although Karr exhibits some sense of the ``unconscious'' in poems such as ``Beyond Freedom and Dignity.'' The reader is thus reduced to experiencing the ``description'' of emotions, typically that of watching one's father die. The leap is not there. Ivan Arguelles, Univ. of California at Berkeley Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819561633
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1987
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 293

Meet the Author

J. William Harris is associate professor of history at the University of New Hampshire and editor of Society and Culture in the Slave South.

LSU Press

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