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By Gary Grieve-Carlson

Ezra Pound’s definition of an epic as “a poem containing historical past” increases questions: how can a poem “contain” historical past? And if it could possibly, does it support us to contemplate heritage in ways in which traditional historiography can't? Poems Containing historical past: Twentieth-Century American Poetry’s Engagement with the Past, by way of Gary Grieve-Carlson, argues that twentieth-century American poetry has “contained” and helped its readers to consider background in a number of provocative and robust methods. Tracing the dialogue of the connection among poetry and background from Aristotle’s Poetics to Norman Mailer’s The Armiesof the Night and Hayden White’s Metahistory, the publication exhibits that at the same time background evolves right into a expert, educational self-discipline within the overdue 19th century, and as its practitioners emphasize the medical elements in their paintings and reduce its literary features, twentieth-century American poets proceed to take heritage because the topic in their significant poems. occasionally they suggest the perspectives of mainstream historians, as Stephen Vincent Benét does in John Brown’s Body, yet extra usually they problem them, as do Robert Penn Warren in Brother to Dragons, Ezra Pound in TheCantos, or Charles Olson in TheMaximus Poems. In Conquistador, Archibald MacLeish illustrates Aristotle’s declare that poetry tells extra philosophical truths concerning the previous than historical past does, whereas in Paterson, William Carlos Williams develops a Nietzschean suspicion of history’s worth. 3 significant American poets—T. S. Eliot in Four Quartets, Hart Crane in TheBridge, and Carolyn Forché in The Angel of History—present assorted demanding situations to expert historiography’s assumption that the prior is healthier understood in strictly fabric phrases. Poems Containing History devotes chapters to every of those poets and gives a transparent feel of the seriousness with which American poetry has engaged the previous, in addition to the nice number of these engagements.

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22. A. David Moody, Ezra Pound: Poet, A Portrait of the fellow and His paintings, quantity I: The younger Genius, 1885–1920 (New York: Oxford college Press, 2007), 306. 23. Kenner, Pound period, 359. 24. Gibson, Epic Reinvented, 10. 25. Michael F. Harper, “Truth and Calliope: Ezra Pound’s Malatesta,” PMLA ninety six, no. 1 (January 1981): 88. 26. Harper, “Truth and Calliope,” ninety one, ninety four, ninety nine. 27. Peter Makin, Pound’s Cantos (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins collage Press, 1985), 103. 28. Makin, Pound’s Cantos, 104. 29. Longenbach, Modernist, a hundred thirty. 30. Longenbach, Modernist, 141. 31. Longenbach, Modernist, 148. 32. Ezra Pound, the chosen Letters of Ezra Pound to John Quinn, 1915–1924, ed. Timothy Materer (Durham: Duke college Press, 1991), 217. 33. Rainey, “A Poem together with History,” 205. 34. Quoted in Heymann, Ezra Pound, 264–65. 35. Ezra Pound, advisor to Kulchur (New York: New instructions, 1970), 30–31. 36. Pound, Kulchur, one hundred fifteen. 37. Ezra Pound, The Spirit of Romance 1910 (New York: New instructions, 2005), 7. 38. Pound, Kulchur, 60. 39. Moody, Ezra Pound, 214. forty. Quoted in Moody, Ezra Pound, 401. forty-one. Kenner, Pound period, 377. forty two. Makin, Pound’s Cantos, 107. forty three. Maud Ellmann, “Ezra Pound: The Erasure of History,” in Post-Structuralism and the query of historical past, ed. Derek Attridge, Robert younger, and Geoff Bennington (New York: Cambridge college Press, 1987), 245. forty four. Jeffrey Walker, Bardic Ethos, one zero five, 106. forty five. Kazin, “Language as History,” 117, 118. forty six. Pound, Kulchur, 26–27. forty seven. Ezra Pound, Gaudier-Brzeska: A Memoir (1916; repr. , big apple: New instructions, 1970), 113–14. forty eight. Ezra Pound, chosen Prose, 21. forty nine. Pound, Prose, 22, 23. Pound’s notion of the “luminous aspect” is identical to the anthropologist Leo Frobenius’s Kulturmorphologie, in line with which a small variety of artifacts can permit a talented investigator to urge the valuable features of a tradition. 50. Kenner, Pound period, 360, 366. fifty one. Kenner, Pound period, 423. fifty two. Pound, Prose, 313. In 1944 he keeps the historical-event-as-chapter metaphor, describing international warfare II as “a bankruptcy within the lengthy and bloody tragedy which started with the basis of the financial institution of britain in far-away 1694” (Prose, 343). fifty three. Michael Bernstein, the story of the Tribe, 112. fifty four. Kenner, Pound period, 433, 434. fifty five. Mutlu Konuk Blasing, “Designs on background: Ezra Pound, the Puritans, and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies,” within the Calvinist Roots of the fashionable period, ed. Aliki Barnstone, Michael Tomasek Manson, and Carol J. Singley (Hanover, NH: collage Press of latest England, 1997), sixteen. fifty six. Michael Heller, “Ezra Pound’s Gothic Designs on History,” New England evaluate 26, no. three (2005): one zero five. fifty seven. Pound, Kulchur, 265. fifty eight. Pound, Prose, 306. fifty nine. Pound, Kulchur, 30–31. 60. Alec Marsh, “Counterfeit Kulchur: Deep Politics, the nice Bass and mystery heritage in Ezra Pound,” eu magazine of English reviews 12, no. three (December 2008): 265. sixty one. Ezra Pound, The Cantos (New York: New instructions, 1970), 258. See Leon Surette’s a mild from Eleusis (Oxford: Clarendon, 1979) and Michael Bernstein’s the story of the Tribe for reliable discussions of Pound’s experience of the mythic.

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