By Angus Fletcher
Amid gloomy forecasts of the decline of the arts and the demise of poetry, Angus Fletcher, a sensible and committed literary voice, sounds a observe of robust, tempered optimism. He lays out a clean method of American poetry at huge, the 1st in numerous a long time, expounding a protection of the artwork that may resonate good into the hot century. Breaking with the drained behavior of treating American poets because the satisfied or rebellious kids of eu romanticism, Fletcher uncovers a special lineage for American poetry. His aspect of departure is the attention-grabbing English author, John Clare; he then facilities at the extensively American imaginative and prescient expressed by means of Emerson and Walt Whitman. With Whitman this publication insists that "the complete concept and nature of poetry" wishes thought from technology whether it is to accomplish a very democratic vista. Drawing variously on Complexity idea and on basics of artwork and grammar, Fletcher argues that our best poetry is nature-based, environmentally formed, and descriptive in objective, permitting poets like John Ashbery and different contemporaries to find a mysterious pragmatism. severe, resonant, and deeply literary, this account of an American poetics indicates how modern-day consumerist and conformist tradition subverts the mind's eye of a loose humans. whereas centering on American imaginative and prescient, the argument extends our horizon, outstanding a blow opposed to all economically sanctioned assaults upon the finer, enhanced human capacities. Poetry, the writer continues, is relevant to any coherent imaginative and prescient of lifestyles. (20040125)
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Extra resources for A New Theory for American Poetry: Democracy, the Environment, and the Future of Imagination
One might think such descriptive extensions of immediate material acquaintance would be the only way knowledge can be abstract, but Russell held (with others) that one might be “directly” acquainted with highly abstract ideas, as in mathematics. Philosophers, including Russell himself, found there were logical difficulties with his theory, but at least from the layman’s viewpoint it captures a profound and familiar human experience: the movement of mind into what seems its natural use of sense-data, namely a developing grasp of the field in which, broadly, our sense-data and our experience play a large role in the construction of our understanding of the world.
4 In “Autumnal Hints” he states the principles of what I shall be calling description: “Objects are concealed from our view, not so much because they are out of the course of our visual ray as because we do not bring our minds and eyes to bear on them; for there is no power to see in the eye itself, any more than in any other jelly. ” This sense of the mind of the observer is supported, furthermore, by his view that “the greater part of the phenomena of Nature are for this reason concealed from us all our lives.
Mimesis thus retains a kind of vertical mobility, never necessarily rejecting the claims of the environment. ” 3 Description Description appears to be the humblest of intelligent symbolic acts, yet, because it is so common, its possible range eludes us. ” Immediately, this last etcetera grabs our attention; it is the key to our difficulty, since there may be an infinite number of characteristic features denoting any class, sort, or type of object to be described.