American political poetry in the 21st century by M. Dowdy

By M. Dowdy

"In this learn, Dowdy uncovers and analyzes the first rhetorical suggestions, really figures of voice, in American political poetry from the Vietnam War-era to the current. by means of advancing a theoretical version that foregrounds how poems enact politically-engaged voices, the booklet cuts throughout severe reviews geared up by way of identification type and material. Combining theories of enterprise and cultural stories, this Read more...

summary: "In this examine, Dowdy uncovers and analyzes the first rhetorical recommendations, relatively figures of voice, in American political poetry from the Vietnam War-era to the current. through advancing a theoretical version that foregrounds how poems enact politically-engaged voices, the e-book cuts throughout severe stories equipped via identification type and material. Combining theories of business enterprise and cultural reviews, this accomplished account of up to date American verse makes use of shut readings of canonical and lesser identified poets, bilingual poets, and hip-hop artists to be able to chart American poetry's distinct voices. This publication could be fundamental to these attracted to twentieth-century poetry, poetics, hip-hop tradition, literature and politics, cultural stories, and African-American and Latina/o cultures."--Jacket

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In the conclusion I discuss a poem that actualizes multiple strategies. My categories are not nearly as rigid as Northrop Frye’s four narrative categories into which any work of literature can fit. One poem may embody multiple strategies; however, I choose the one that governs the poem, that shapes its action, power, impact, and this reader’s response to it. Further, there are significant changes in strategy from poem to poem or from volume to volume in a poet’s career. For instance, Forché abandoned her lyric-narrative, free verse poetry of The Country between Us for the staging of multiple voices in The Angel of History,11 and rappers often change their voice, style, and persona from song to song.

The categories depart from previous formulations of political poetry in that they foreground the uses of language in poems—figures of voice, kinds of narrative trajectory, types of “evidence,” tones of authority, and the types of images and rhetorical figures. I set out to see how poems act politically. These categories, moreover, are not selfcontained; there is significant overlap and slippage between strategies. In the conclusion I discuss a poem that actualizes multiple strategies. My categories are not nearly as rigid as Northrop Frye’s four narrative categories into which any work of literature can fit.

His most anthologized poem, “Facing It,” in which the speaker visits the Vietnam War Memorial, is inseparable from the facts of the war and its nearly 60,000 American dead. The reader knows that the poet is staging a voice, but one that speaks of the lived experiences that mark it. 14 Even so, this poetic strategy has been criticized by scholars and poets for being romantic, simplistic, and for glorifying witness or participation in events of extremity. Rasula, for instance, hints that many of Forché’s and Rich’s poems are “grounded in methods of emotional manipulation” (319).

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