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Politics and Form in Postmodern Poetry: O'Hara, Bishop, Ashbery, and Merrill (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture) 1st Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521106139
ISBN-10: 0521106133
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Approaching post-World War II poetry from a postmodern critical perspective, this study challenges the prevailing assumption that experimental forms signify political opposition while traditional forms are politically conservative. Blasing shows how four major postwar poets--Frank O'Hara, Elizabeth Bishop, John Ashbery, and James Merrill--cannot be read as politically conservative because formally traditional or vice versa. The work of these poets plays an important cultural role precisely by revealing how meanings and values do not inhere in forms but are always and irreducibly rhetorical.

About the Author

Mutlu Konuk Blasing is Professor of English at Brown University.
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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture (Book 94)
  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (April 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521106133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521106139
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,939,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am an English PhD student working on this period of American poetry, and to my mind this is one of the best works on these poets. One thing that makes it so refreshing is that Blasing cuts through the tired raw/cooked divide that tends to separate supposedly avant-garde from "confessional" poets of this period. Blasing's grasp of these poets is nevertheless thoroughly historical; she effectively locates the ability of these poets to jettison foundational and organicist claims for their work, and especially style, in favor of a "rhetorical" embrace of various open and set poetic forms, in the postwar totality that has come to be thought of as postmodern. If you are wary of the foundationalist claims of an Olson, or moreover a Pound, and don't want to merely get stuck affirming one camp of postwar poets against another, Blasing's precise and illuminating intro, and often beautiful readings of poems, is a must-read. It feels like this book inhabits a unique moment, as Blasing's more recent work seems to attempt to locate the powers of poetry in some sort of fundamental relation between body and words- precisely the kind of organicism she so refreshingly argues against here. This book offers much needed tonic for American poetics.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Recommended to anyone interested in post-World War II poetry. Mutlu Konuk Blasing's style requires commitment, but quite repays the reader's efforts.
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Format: Hardcover
The author of this book couldn't write his (her?) way out of a paper bag, let alone understand poetry.
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