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Showing how these poets' landscapes respond to the sense of constant change, and to the disruption and acceleration of life characteristic of modern experience, Costello's work reveals the special role of poetry in teaching us to dwell on "shifting ground."
A comprehensive exploration of a powerful dynamic in American poetry, Shifting Ground ranges from the sly subversions of Robert Frost's "Directive" to the vertiginous "temporal space" of John Ashbery's "Haunted Landscape." Sustained readings of dozens of major poems by Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, and Marianne Moore open new perspectives on landscape as metaphor in these canonical moderns, while illuminating chapters on Amy Clampitt, A. R. Ammons, and John Ashbery map the fluctuating terrain of postmodern poetry with compelling clarity.
1. Introduction: Frame and Flux
2. Frost's Crossings
3. Stevens' Eccentricity
4. Moore's America
5. Amy Clampitt: Nomad Exquisite
6. A. R. Ammons: Pilgrim, Sage, Ordinary Man
7. John Ashbery: Landscapeople
8. Epilogue: "The Machine in the Garden"