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American Poetry and Culture, 1945-1980

by Robert Von Hallberg

American Poetry and Culture, 1945-1980 Synopsis

Challenging the common perception of poets as standing apart from the mainstream of American culture, Robert von Hallberg gives us a fresh and unpredictable assessment of the poetry that has come directly out of the American experience since 1945. Who reads contemporary American poetry? More people than were reading new poetry in the 1920s, von Hallberg shows. How do poets respond to the public preoccupations of their readers? Often with fascination. Von Hallberg put the poems of Robert Creeley and John Ashbery together with the postwar outburst of systems analysis. The 1950s tourist poems of John Hollander, Adrienne Rich, W. S. Merwin, and James Merrill are treated as the cultural side of America's postwar rise to global political power There are chapters on the political poems of the 1950s and 1960s, and on Robert Lowell's sympathy for the imperialism of his liberal contemporaries. Poems of the 1970s on pop culture, especially Edward Dorn's Slinger, and some from the suburbs of the 1980s, are shown to reflect a curious peace between the literary and the mass cultures.

American Poetry and Culture, 1945-1980 Press Reviews

This is a bold and original book. It will enrage, it will provoke; at all events it should not be missed.--Donald Davie This is a wide-ranging and unusually interesting book.--Lachlan Mackinnon Times Literary Supplement Robert von Hallberg has written a thoughtful, energetic, and discriminating refutation of the quaint proposition 'Poetry is dead.' In doing so, he has explored some of the best of the most recent poetry... It is the most serious treatment of our recent poetry available.--Tom D'Evelyn Christian Science Monitor Here is excellent critical writing on an unusual and imaginative selection of poets, including James Merrill, Robert Lowell, and Edward Dorn. Von Hallberg's discussion of these writers is especially insightful.--L. Berk Choice Far the best account yet written of the post-World War II poetry scene in America.--Jerome McGann

Book Information

ISBN: 9780674030121
Publication date: 1st July 1988
Author: Robert Von Hallberg
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 288 pages
Categories: Literary studies: poetry & poets, Cultural studies,

About Robert Von Hallberg

Robert von Hallberg teaches English literature at the University of Chicago.

More About Robert Von Hallberg

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