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 stream 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 basic continuities among Romanticism’s poetic and political radicalism and the experimental events in poetry from the late-nineteenth-century to the current day.
in keeping with editors July Carr and Jeffrey C. Robinson, “active romanticism” is a poetic reaction, direct or oblique, to urgent social concerns and an try to redress sorts of ideological repression; at its center, “active romanticism” champions democratic pluralism and confronts ideologies that suppress the facts of pluralism. “Poetry fetter’d, fetters the human race,” declared poet William Blake first and foremost 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 varieties of inequality and invisibility. No different assertion insists so vividly poetic occasion pushing for social development calls for the unfettering of conventional, known poetic shape and language.
Bringing jointly paintings through recognized writers and critics, ranging from scholarly experiences to poets’ testimonials, Active Romanticism shows Romantic poetry to not be the sclerotic corpse opposed to which the avant-garde reacted yet relatively the well-spring from which it flowed.
supplying a primary rethinking of the historical past of contemporary poetry, Carr and Robinson have grouped jointly during this assortment quite a few essays that make certain the lifestyles of Romanticism as an ongoing mode of poetic construction that's cutting edge and dynamic, a continuation of the nineteenth-century Romantic culture, and a kind that reacts and renews itself at any given second of perceived social crisis. Cover picture: Ruckenfigur by way of Susan Bee, 2013, oil on linen, 24 x 30 in.
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Extra resources for Active romanticism : the radical impulse in nineteenth-century and contemporary poetic practice
Rothenberg and Robinson 904–5). Whereas Rimbaud suggests the soul must become monstrous, Keats sees that the soul’s nature is monstrous, for its nature is not identical. The soul is the other. The soul contradicts simple notions of self, dispels easy notions of essence, for the soul—taken as a reality, a poetic reality—places a manifold and plural anonymity at the fundament of identity. This sense of soul, being manifold, porous, free floating, rupturing, othering, closely replicates Wordsworth’s and Emerson’s impossible epistemology in which poetry precedes experience, precedes knowledge.
Here, the Aeolian harp of Romantic fancy takes on a far more startling dimension, in which the wire is our own voice, a tension across which blows that “supernal” music, so it can be heard. One might extend the thought in its astonishing trajectory, that the meaning in the human voice—the meaning strung along not only the telegraph wires but also those wires that are the lines of a poem—has very little to do with what the words spoken or written mean, and everything to do with creating in every line a tension that allows the unheard breeze blowing over the surface of all things (page and world and mind teetering between both) to gain sensibility, to thrill into harmony.
Genius is an idea not yet abandoned in Romanticism, but hearkened after in all its ancient oddity. Thoreau goes even further in his suggestion. —it is an ingenious music. If it vibrates in the pores of the wood then it vibrates in the pores of the skin, in the lacunae of the bones—our skin and our bones. The work of writing creates in oneself a musical tension by which another music may be heard. We sing to hear that other singing—a song that cannot be heard save against the music of our own voice.