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Poetry of Mourning The Modern Elegy from Hardy to Heaney

ISBN-10: 0226703401
ISBN-13: 9780226703404
Edition: 1994
Authors: Jahan Ramazani
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Description: Called the "mother of beauty" by Wallace Stevens, death has been perhaps the favorite muse of modern poets. From Langston Hughes's lynch poems to Sylvia Plath's father elegies, modern poetry has tried to find a language of mourning in an age of mass  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 1994
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 5/28/1994
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 436
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.594
Language: English

Called the "mother of beauty" by Wallace Stevens, death has been perhaps the favorite muse of modern poets. From Langston Hughes's lynch poems to Sylvia Plath's father elegies, modern poetry has tried to find a language of mourning in an age of mass death, religious doubt, and forgotten ritual. For this reason, Jahan Ramazani argues, the elegy, one of the most ancient of poetic genres, has remained one of the most vital to modern poets. Through subtle readings of elegies, self-elegies, war poems, and the blues, Ramazani greatly enriches our critical understanding of a wide range of poets, including Thomas Hardy, Wilfred Owen, Wallace Stevens, Langston Hughes, W. H. Auden, Sylvia Plath, and Seamus Heaney. He also interprets the signal contributions to the American family elegy of Robert Lowell, Allen Ginsberg, Anne Sexton, John Berryman, Adrienne Rich, Michael Harper, and Amy Clampitt. Finally, he suggests analogies between the elegy and other kinds of contemporary mourning art--in particular, the AIDS Memorial Quilt and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Grounded in genre theory and in the psychoanalysis of mourning, Ramazani's readings also draw on various historical, formal, and feminist critical approaches. This book will be of interest to anyone concerned with the psychology of mourning or the history of modern poetry. "Consists of full, intelligent and lucid exposition and close reading. . . . Poetry of Mourning is itself a welcome contribution to modern poetry's search for a 'resonant yet credible vocabulary of grief in our time."--Times Literary Supplement

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Modern Elegy
Social Mourning and Poetic Mourning
Genre, High Modernism, Psychoanalysis
Thomas Hardy
Elegies for an Era: "By the Century's Deathbed"
Poems of 1912-13 and Other Elegies for Emma
Wilfred Owen
Wallace Stevens
Harmonium: Mockeries and Pathetic Fallacies
War Elegies
Self-Elegies: Making Alpha of Omega
Langston Hughes
African-American Elegy and the Blues
Blues Poems
Monologues on Mortality
Lynch Poems
W. H. Auden
Elegy and Imitation
Self-Elegies: "Now For Oblivion"
American Family Elegy I
Robert Lowell
John Berryman
Allen Ginsberg
Michael Harper
Sylvia Plath
"Daddy, I Have Had to Kill You"
Self-Elegies: The Art and Trade of Dying
American Family Elegy II
Anne Sexton
Adrienne Rich
Amy Clampitt
Seamus Heaney
Coda
Notes
Index

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