This Compost: Ecological Imperatives in American Poetry

This Compost: Ecological Imperatives in American Poetry

by Jed Rasula
     
 

ISBN-10: 0820323667

ISBN-13: 9780820323664

Pub. Date: 09/28/2002

Publisher: University of Georgia Press

Poetry, for Jed Rasula, bears traces of our entanglement with our surroundings, and these traces define a collective voice in modern poetry independent of the more specific influences and backgrounds of the poets themselves. In This Compost Rasula surveys both the convictions asserted by American poets and the poetics they develop in their craft, all with an

Overview

Poetry, for Jed Rasula, bears traces of our entanglement with our surroundings, and these traces define a collective voice in modern poetry independent of the more specific influences and backgrounds of the poets themselves. In This Compost Rasula surveys both the convictions asserted by American poets and the poetics they develop in their craft, all with an eye toward an emerging ecological worldview.

Rasula begins by examining poets associated with Black Mountain College in the 1950s—Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, and Robert Duncan—and their successors. But This Compost extends to include earlier poets like Robinson Jeffers, Ezra Pound, Louis Zukofsky, Kenneth Rexroth, and Muriel Rukeyser, as well as Clayton Eshleman, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, and other contemporary poets. Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson also make appearances. Rasula draws this diverse group of poets together, uncovering how the past is a "compost" fertilizing the present. He looks at the heritage of ancient lore and the legacy of modern history and colonial violence as factors contributing to ecological imperatives in modern poetry.

This Compost restores the dialogue between poetic language and the geophysical, biological realm of nature that so much postmodern discourse has sought to silence. It is a fully developed, carefully argued book that deals with an underrepresented element in modern American culture, where the natural world and those who write about it have been greatly neglected in contemporary literary history and theory.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820323664
Publisher:
University of Georgia Press
Publication date:
09/28/2002
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.06(d)

Table of Contents

Contents
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Gilgamesh
The library
Generation
The tropics, & the trope
Cinders
Vomito cogito
That origin which is act
The archaic and the old lore
Indian skin
On the extremest verge
The rim, the sediment
Necropoetics
Muses' archetext
A skin of mouths
The vessel
Nigredo
From Saturn to Demeter
Milk light
The floor of the upside down
The starry horizon
The frozen being
Emanation
Memoranda and signatures
Proprioception
Vertigo
Characters
Language obeyed
Pestilence
De rerum natura: epic's lyric absolute
Ghosts of inner ecology
Origin
Detritus pathways
Scruples & superstition
Psychosm
Superfluity
The empty house
The times promised
The uninterrupted tissue
Citations
Bibliography
Biographical Glossary
Index

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