Poetry After Modernism (Old Edition)

Robert McDowell, Editor
Robert McDowell, Editor Story Line Press $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-934257-35-0
Hardcover - 376 pages - 978-0-934257-36-7
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-1-885266-34-7
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The purpose of this compendium of essays, as Story Line Press publisher McDowell ( Quiet Money ) states in his introduction, is ``to make sense . . . of Modernism and its aftermath'' without representing any one theoretical or critical school of thought. Dick Allen criticizes the ``trivializing of poetry'' by a late-20th-century society ``which turns for its truths to psychologists, journalists and politicians.'' Even more heavy-handed is Bruce Bawer's essay, which groans about young people turning to the composition of poetry to ``pour out their guts'' in a ``peculiar, idle, self-indulgent'' way. Rather than taking as their subject the multitude of dedicated poets writing today, both of these critics apply rigid aesthetic principles to our pop-obsessed society. The most successful essays are the less polemical pieces, which tackle specific aspects of modern poetry. Carol Oles and Hilda Raz's ``The Feminist Literary Movement'' and Rita Dove and Marilyn Nelson Waniek's ``A Black Rainbow: Modern Afro-American Poetry'' are a pleasure to read, providing insightful overviews of these respective literary movements. (Jan.)
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