Toward the Open Field: Poets on the Art of Poetry 1800-1950 / Edition 1

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Toward the Open Field brings together many of the great prose pieces—essays, letters, declarations, defenses, manifestos, and apologia—by the most influential European and American poets from the Romantics to the Symbolists, Surrealists, and Moderns. Hitherto uncollected and all in English, the work in this anthology follows the changing notions of what a poem is, what a poet is, and why we read a poem, tracing the development of stylistic and ideological strategies that have spawned our current, conflicting understandings of verse.

The book begins with Wordsworth’s 1802 “Preface” to the Lyrical Ballads and proceeds through 150 years of English language tradition, including the European poetries which greatly influenced it. These prose works allow the reader to share one of the great extended conversations by poets about poetry during a dynamic period of literary experimentation.

Includes work by Charles Baudelaire, André Breton, Aimé Césaire, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Emily Dickinson, T.S. Eliot, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Langston Hughes, John Keats, Federico Garcia Lorca, Mina Loy, Stéphane Mallarmé, Marianne Moore, Charles Olson, Ezra Pound, Arthur Rimbaud, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, Paul Valéry, Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, William Wordsworth and Louis Zukofsky.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Poet and novelist Melissa Kwasny brings together prose pieces—essays, letters, declarations, defenses, manifestos, and apologia—by many influential European and American poets. The anthology pieces follows changing notions of what a poem is, what a poet is, why we read a poem, and the development of stylistic and ideological strategies in verse.” —Poets & Writers
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819566072
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 6/24/2004
  • Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 901,376
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

MELISSA KWASNY is the author of four books of poetry, most recently The Nine Senses and Reading Novalis in Montana, as well as co-editor with M.L. Smoker of I Go to the Ruined Place: Contemporary Poems in Defense of Global Human Rights.

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Table of Contents

William Wordsworth – “Preface” to the second edition of Lyrical Ballads
Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Chapter 14, Biographia Literaria
“On Poesie and Art”
John Keats – Selected Letters
Percy Bysshe Shelley – “A Defense of Poetry”
Ralph Waldo Emerson – “The Poet”
Walt Whitman – “Preface” to the first edition of Leaves of Grass
Emily Dickinson – “Letters to Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Gerard Manley Hopkins – “Author’s Preface”
Charles Baudelaire – The Painter of Modern Life, Parts I-IV
Arthur Rimbaud – The “Voyant” Letter
Stéphan Mallarmé – “Crisis in Verse”
André Breton – Manifesto of Surrealism
Federico Garcia Lorca – “Theory and Function of the Duende”
Paul Valéry – “Poetry of Abstract Thought”
Aimé Césaire – “Poetry and Knowledge”
Ezra Pound – “A Retrospect”
T.S. Elliot – “Tradition and the Individual Talent”
Mina Loy – “Modern Poetry”
Langston Highes – “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain”
Louis Zukofsky – “An Objective”
Gertrude Stein – “Poetry and Grammar”
Wallace Stevens – “The Noble Rider and the Sound of Words”
Marianne Moore – “Feeling and Precision”
William Carlos Williams – “Author’s Introduction,” The Wedge
Charles Olson – “Projective Verse”

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