By Dr. Julie Carr, Jeffrey C. Robinson Ph.D., Dan Beachy-Quick, Jacques Darras, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Judith Goldman, Simon Jarvis, Andrew Joron, Nigel Leask, Jennifer Moxley, Bob Perelman, Jerome Rothenberg, Elizabeth Willis, Heriberto Yépez
Literary background more often than not locates the first flow towards poetic innovation in twentieth-century modernism, an impulse performed opposed to a supposedly enervated “late-Romantic” poetry of the 19th century. the unique essays in Active Romanticism problem this interpretation through tracing the elemental continuities among Romanticism’s poetic and political radicalism and the experimental activities in poetry from the late-nineteenth-century to the current day.
in accordance with editors July Carr and Jeffrey C. Robinson, “active romanticism” is a poetic reaction, direct or oblique, to urgent social matters and an try and redress different types of ideological repression; at its middle, “active romanticism” champions democratic pluralism and confronts ideologies that suppress the proof of pluralism. “Poetry fetter’d, fetters the human race,” declared poet William Blake in the beginning of the 19th century. No different assertion from the period of the French Revolution marks with such terseness the problem for poetry to take part within the liberation of human society from kinds of inequality and invisibility. No different assertion insists so vividly poetic occasion pushing for social development calls for the unfettering of conventional, universal poetic shape and language.
Bringing jointly paintings via recognized writers and critics, ranging from scholarly reviews to poets’ testimonials, Active Romanticism shows Romantic poetry to not be the sclerotic corpse opposed to which the avant-garde reacted yet particularly the well-spring from which it flowed.
providing a basic rethinking of the background of contemporary poetry, Carr and Robinson have grouped jointly during this assortment quite a few essays that determine the life of Romanticism as an ongoing mode of poetic creation that's cutting edge and dynamic, a continuation of the nineteenth-century Romantic culture, and a sort that reacts and renews itself at any given second of perceived social crisis. Cover picture: Ruckenfigur by means of Susan Bee, 2013, oil on linen, 24 x 30 in.
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Extra info for Active romanticism : the radical impulse in nineteenth-century and contemporary poetic practice
Rothenberg and Robinson 904–5) The postmodern poet has inherited a notion of the Romantic poet as one for whom world and self and other are easily and too sweetly amalgamated into a universal whole, a unity in which difference ceases to exert its pressing difficulty, where clouds throw down their shadows on hills of daffodils, but the weather will pass, and the sun shines equally on each and all. I fear it is our naïveté that accuses them of naïveté. I find in Keats’s notion of the “Poetical character” a fearsomeness that predicts Rimbaud’s imperative for the poet’s deepest life: “But the soul has to be made monstrous, that’s the point” (147).
A self is made and unmade as it argues and “sings” for an expanded vision of the subject. Whitman’s assertion of the possibilities of a poem or “union,” is not mere positivism; it is provocation. It is a dare. Meteoric Flowers was fueled, in part, by a desire to accept that dare—a desire for an expanded and compounded sense of poetic figuration and for what that figuration can reveal. The embodied vision of poets like D arwin and Whitman helped me confront the muddled conditions of the present into which I repeatedly woke.
To hear it is to be changed by it. When Thoreau puts his ear to the post and finds music in every gap, he also establishes a radical metonymy. The telegraph pole extends his ear, resonates not only with the music that fills it, but simultaneously with the ability to perceive that music. It is a moment of profound imagination, as Coleridge writes it: “They and they only can acquire the philosophical imagination, the sacred power of self-intuition, who within themselves can interpret and understand the symbol, that the wings of the air-sylph are forming within the skin of the caterpillar; those only, who feel in their own spirit the same instinct, which impels the chrysalis of the horned fly to leave room in its involucrum for antennæ yet to come” (Coleridge, Selected Poetry and Prose 236).