Twentieth-Century American Poetry / Edition 1

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Written by a leading authority on William Carlos Williams, this book provides a wide-ranging and stimulating guide to twentieth-century American poetry.

  • A wide-ranging and stimulating critical guide to twentieth-century American poetry.
  • Written by a leading authority on the innovative modernist poet, William Carlos Williams.
  • Explores the material, historical and social contexts in which twentieth-century American poetry was produced.
  • Includes a biographical dictionary of major writers with extended entries on poets ranging from Robert Frost to Adrienne Rich.
  • Contains a section on key texts considering major works, such as ‘The Waste Land’, ‘North & South’, ‘Howl’ and ‘Ariel’.
  • The final section draws out key themes, such as American poetry, politics and war, and the process of anthologizing at the end of the century.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] useful reference book, especially for sudents and teachers. [...It is] cogent and clear, sound and well-informed." The Virginia Quarterly Review

"The year's most substantial and accessible reference volume." American Literary Scholarship

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Christopher MacGowan is Professor of Literature at the College of William and Mary. He has published extensively on twentieth-century American poetry but is best known as the acclaimed editor of the works of William Carlos Williams.

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Table of Contents

How To Use This Book
Chronology: Significant Dates and Events, 1900-2000
Introduction 1
Some Historical and Cultural Contexts of Twentieth-Century American Poetry 7
The Romantic Legacy and the Genteel Tradition 9
Transatlantic Connections 14
Tradition and the Rise of the Universities 19
Rebellion in the Fifties and Sixties: The Two Anthologies 22
The Poetry of Change 25
A Rich Diversity 28
Writers 31
Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935) 33
Robert Frost (1874-1963) 36
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) 40
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) 42
William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) 46
Ezra Pound (1885-1972) 50
H. D. (Hilda Doolittle: 1886-1961) 55
Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962) 58
Marianne Moore (1887-1972) 60
T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) 63
John Crowe Ransom (1888-1974) 68
Claude McKay (1890-1948) 70
E. E. Cummings (1894-1962) 72
Hart Crane (1899-1932) 74
Langston Hughes (1902-1967) 78
Louis Zukofsky (1904-1978) 82
Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989) 84
George Oppen (1908-1984) 87
Theodore Roethke (1908-1963) 89
Charles Olson (1910-1970) 92
Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) 95
John Berryman (1914-1972) 98
Robert Lowell (1917-1977) 101
Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000) 105
Robert Duncan (1919-1988) 108
Richard Wilbur (b. 1921) 111
Denise Levertov (1923-1997) 113
James Dickey (1923-1997) 116
A. R. Ammons (1926-2001) 118
Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) 120
Robert Creeley (b. 1926) 124
Frank O'Hara (1926-1966) 126
James Merrill (1926-1995) 129
John Ashbery (b. 1927) 131
Galway Kinnell (b. 1927) 134
W. S. Merwin (b. 1927) 136
Anne Sexton (1928-1974) 139
Adrienne Rich (b. 1929) 141
Gary Snyder (b. 1930) 146
Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) 148
Amiri Baraka (b. 1934) 152
Sonia Sanchez (b. 1934) 154
Audre Lorde (1934-1992) 156
Susan Howe (b. 1937) 158
Louise Gluck (b. 1943) 159
Jorie Graham (b. 1951) 161
Gary Soto (b. 1952) 162
Rita Dove (b. 1952) 164
Texts 167
North of Boston 169
Des Imagistes: An Anthology 174
The Man Against the Sky: A Book of Poems 178
The Waste Land 181
Harlem Shadows 187
Harmonium 190
Spring and All 195
Observations 200
The Bridge 204
North & South 208
The Pisan Cantos 211
The Lost Son and Other Poems 215
Howl and Other Poems 219
Life Studies 223
The New American Poetry 228
Ariel 232
The Dream Songs 236
Black Magic: Sabotage, Target Study, Black Art; Collected Poetry 1961-1967 240
The Book of Nightmares 243
Transformations 246
Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror 250
The Dream of a Common Language: Poems 1974-1977 253
The Country Between Us 256
The Changing Light at Sandover 259
Thomas and Beulah 263
Topics 267
Twentieth-Century American Poetry and Other Arts 269
Continuities and Nationality in Twentieth-Century American Poetry 276
American Poetry and a Century of Wars 282
The Twentieth-Century American Long Poem 287
Anthologies: Polemical and Historical 294
Guide to Further Reading 304
Index 310
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