ISBN-10:
0674019881
ISBN-13:
9780674019881
Pub. Date:
03/15/2006
Publisher:
Harvard
A New Theory for American Poetry: Democracy, the Environment, and the Future of Imagination / Edition 1

A New Theory for American Poetry: Democracy, the Environment, and the Future of Imagination / Edition 1

by Angus Fletcher

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674019881
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 03/15/2006
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.93(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Angus Fletcher was Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction

1. Clare's Horizon

2. The Argument of Form

3. Description

4. Ashbery's Clare

5. Diurnal Knowledge

6. The Whitman Phrase

7. The Environment-Poem

8. Waves and the Troping of Poetic Form

9. Middle Voice

10. Ashbery and the Becoming of the Poem

11. Meditating Chaos and Complexity

12. The Long Amazing and Unprecedented Way

13. Coherence

14. Precious Idiosyncrasy: An Epilogue

Notes

Index

What People are Saying About This

This is one of the most important books about poetic imagination of the past half-century. Lucid, generous in scholarly breadth, Fletcher analyzes our ideas of personal autonomy and political dependency. The book contains some of the most original discussions of John Clare, Walt Whitman, and John Ashbery I have ever seen. Fletcher's own independent energies and philosophical learning help shape a brilliant exploration of environment and its representation.

Robert Faggen

A powerful argument for a kind of poetics that represents and modern American consciousness. Fletcher does not argue for a poetry of environmental consciousness in the sense of political or ideological advocacy. One of the most pleasantly polemical aspects of the book is its rigorous adherence to a kind of formalism wonderfully attentive to what makes poetry unique and profound.
Robert Faggen, author of Robert Frost and the Challenge of Darwin

Harold Bloom

Fletcher's new book is the crown of his career: bold, original, brimming with imaginative energy on every page. One doesn't have to agree with his interpretations of John Clare, Walt Whitman, and John Ashbery (I myself do not) to benefit enormously from reading Fletcher. He is an Orphic seer, a curious universal scholar of Renaissance vintage, a fusion of the best traits of Northrop Frye and Kenneth Burke, his true peers.
Harold Bloom, author of The Western Canon

Richard Howard

In this prophetic work, Angus Fletcher reminds us that when Whitman speaks of theory "he does not mean anything like what scholars have been calling 'theory' ever since about 1965." He means poetics, and so does Fletcher. In his New Theory he reveals the revolutionary powers of poetic vision. This is done with no grinding of gears, no milling of rhetoric - no machinery at all. It is all thinking, and insight, and even a strange hilarity, as Fletcher imagines what our (American) poetry will be - will have to be (as it has been and become) or not be at all. I read this great theorist and discover again, again and anew, answers to our students' tormented questions: what is the good, the value, the use of poetry?
Richard Howard, author of Talking Cures

Helen Vendler

Angus Fletcher defines a poetics for the twenty-first century by means of a very original collection of John Clare, Walt Whitman, and John Ashbery as Environmental Poets -- poets, that is, who embrace the horizontal rather than the vertical, the non-teleological rather than the progressive, and the democratic rather than the hierarchical.
Helen Vendler, author of The Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets

Susan Stewart

This book will be an illumination to readers of poetry and an inspiration to those who write it. It truly brings news--Fletcher has climbed to the top of the mast and found there, revealed at last, the curvature of the world.
Susan Stewart, author Columbarium

John Hollander

This is one of the most important books about poetic imagination of the past half-century. Lucid, generous in scholarly breadth, Fletcher analyzes our ideas of personal autonomy and political dependency. The book contains some of the most original discussions of John Clare, Walt Whitman, and John Ashbery I have ever seen. Fletcher's own independent energies and philosophical learning help shape a brilliant exploration of environment and its representation.
John Hollander, author of Picture Window

Jonathan Bate

Angus Fletcher restores the imagination, the aesthetic, the emotions and the natural world to critical discourse, while at the same time attending to some of the most significant developments in scientific thinking, notably ecology and chaos theory.
Jonathan Bate, author of The Song of the Earth

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