By Harold Bloom
The increase of modernism marked one of many significant transitional sessions in modern literature. the yankee modernist poets created a wealthy legacy of their verse explorations of a global touched by means of struggle, swift industrialization, and the transforming into perceived alienation of the person. The innovators featured during this quantity contain Ezra Pound, e.e. cummings, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Carl Sandburg and their abiding affects. severe essays study those poets and their works, with a chronology, bibliography, index, and an introductory essay through grasp student Harold Bloom finishing the identify.
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O throbbing heart! And I singing uselessly, uselessly all the night. Canto 82 rather movingly has shown the incarcerated poet studying the nostalgias of his early literary life, while meditating on the unrighteousness of all wars. A vision of the earth now comes to him, in response to his partly repressed recall of Whitman’s vision of the sea. Marrying the earth is Pound’s counterpart to Whitman’s marrying the sea, both in “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking” and in “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d,” and both brides are at once death and the mother.
What has wasted the land of Eliot’s elegiac poem is neither the malady of the Fisher King nor the decline of Christianity, and Eliot’s own psychosexual sorrows are not very relevant either. The precursors’ strength is the illness of The Waste Land; Eliot, after all, can promise to show us “fear in a handful of dust” only because the monologist of Tennyson’s Maud already has cried out: “Dead, long dead, / Long dead! ” Even more poignantly, Eliot is able to sum up all of Whitman’s extraordinary “As I Ebb’d with the Ocean of Life” in the single line: “These fragments I have shored against my ruins,” where the fragments are not only the verse paragraphs that constitute the text of The Waste Land but crucially are also Whitman’s floating sea drift: Me and mine, loose windrows, little corpses, Froth, snowy white, and bubbles, (See, from my dead lips the ooze exuding at last, See, the prismatic colors glistening and rolling,) Tufts of straw, sands, fragments, Buoy’d hither from many moods, one contradicting another.
We again receive what might be called Moore’s Paradox: marriage, considered from either the male or female perspective, is a dreadful disaster but as a poetic trope gorgeously shines forth its barbaric splendors. ” With a fine impartiality, the poet has a vision of the agonists in this eternal dispute: The blue panther with black eyes, the basalt panther with blue eyes, entirely graceful— one must give them the path—. ’ This marvelous exchange of diatribes is weirdly stitched together from outrageously heterogeneous “sources,” ranging from a parody of The Rape of the Lock (in which Moore herself took a hand) to a women’s college president’s denunciation of the male love of awards and medals on to a surprising misappropriation of a great moment in the prophet Amos, which is then juxtaposed to a brutal remark of Ezra Pound’s.
American Modernist Poets (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) by Harold Bloom