Defensive Measures: The Poetry of Niedecker, Bishop, Glück, and Carson

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Bucknell University Press, 2005 - 144 стор.
Much of our strongest poetry that learned its lessons from early modernism lives by its defensive measures, that is, by means of reversing, inverting, and challenging in covert ways a dominant perceptual mode. Defensive Measures explores strategies by which poets claim their distinctiveness, and argues that poetry is the one literary form that most insistently demands a defense. It demands a defense, it would seem, because it is perpetually in crisis - not only in regard to its utility and its aesthetic appeal (or the vigor of its renunciation of such an appeal), but in regard to its generic existence. Upton defines a generative conception of defense and examines in a new light the poetry of Lorine Niedecker, Elizabeth Bishop, Louise Gluck, and Anne Carson. In writing about Bishop. Upton puts this well-regarded poet in a new framework, aligning her work with that of three poets whose aesthetics might be viewed as antithetical to her own ...

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Сторінка 13 - We want the creative faculty to imagine that which we know; we want the generous impulse to act that which we imagine; we want the poetry of life: our calculations have outrun conception; we have eaten more than we can digest.
Сторінка 67 - He's come out in his nightGown, that crazy old Englishman, oh!' He weeps by the side of the ocean, He weeps on the top of the hill; He purchases pancakes and lotion, And chocolate shrimps from the mill. He reads but he cannot speak Spanish, He cannot abide ginger-beer: Ere the days of his pilgrimage vanish, How pleasant to know Mr. Lear!
Сторінка 14 - Whatever its actual content and overt interest, every poem is rooted in imaginative awe. Poetry can do a hundred and one things, delight, sadden, disturb, amuse, instruct— it may express every possible shade of emotion, and describe every conceivable kind of event, but there is only one thing that all poetry must do: it must praise all it can for being and for happening.
Сторінка 14 - Of this wisdom, the poetic passion, the desire of beauty, the love of art for art's sake, has most; for art comes to you professing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass, and simply for those moments
Сторінка 14 - Poetry I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all this fiddle. Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in it, after all, a place for the genuine. Hands that can grasp, eyes that can dilate, hair that can rise if it must, these things are important not because a high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because they are useful.
Сторінка 44 - Writing occurs which is the detail, not mirage, of seeing, of thinking with the things as they exist, and of directing them along a line of melody.
Сторінка 67 - Cold are the crabs that crawl on yonder hills, Colder the cucumbers that grow beneath, And colder still the brazen chops that wreathe The tedious gloom of philosophic pills ! For when the tardy film of nectar fills The ample bowls of demons and of men, There lurks the feeble mouse, the homely hen, And there the porcupine with all her quills. Yet much remains — to weave a solemn strain That lingering sadly — slowly dies away, Daily departing with departing day. A pea green gamut on a distant plain...
Сторінка 13 - And we may further grant to those of her defenders who are lovers of poetry and yet not poets the permission to speak in prose on her behalf: let them show not only that she is pleasant but also useful to States...
Сторінка 57 - There is singularly nothing that makes a difference a difference in beginning and in the middle and in ending except that each generation has something different at which they are all looking. By this I mean so simply that anybody knows it that composition is the difference which makes each and all of them then different from other generations and this is what makes everything different otherwise they are all alike and everybody knows it because everybody says it.
Сторінка 72 - The sides of my mouth are now my hands. They press the earth and suck it hard. Ah, but I know my shell is beautiful, and high, and glazed, and shining. I know it well, although I have not seen it. Its curled white lip is of the finest enamel. Inside, it is as smooth as silk, and I, I fill it to perfection.

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