A New Theory for American Poetry: Democracy, the Environment and the Future of Imagination

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9780674019881: A New Theory for American Poetry: Democracy, the Environment and the Future of Imagination
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Book by Fletcher Angus

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This is work of serious scholarship, a theory and defense of poetry that at once reveals and revels in the power and beauty of nature-based, descriptive verse. -- Barbara Fisher Boston Globe 20040125 Fletcher foregrounds a distinctly American vision of poetry, placing its roots not in European romanticism but in the works of Emerson and Whitman. He argues, along with Whitman, that poetry is inspired by science and shaped by nature. Fletcher's Americanist perspective does not, however, preclude an understanding of the global impact of poetry and its centrality to the experience of human life in the broadest sense. American Literature 20050601 In A New Theory for American Poetry, Fletcher may not have explained everything about his subject but what he has explained is enough to occupy most minds for a long time. By being so pliant itself, the book bends us with brilliance toward the work of the poets it reads...Many thanks to Fletcher for reshaping our critical posture. -- Andrew DuBois Harvard Review 20050501 The year 2004 saw the publication of some ambitious critical works, perhaps none more so than Angus Fletcher's A New Theory for American Poetry. The work blends criticism with poetics in setting out an account of what Fletcher sees as the distinctive achievements of American poetry, and an argument for how poets might continue to achieve the expression of a sense of "getting along within a population," crafting a democratic "gathering of energies" in order to explore how "we adapt to the environments into which we are thrown by life." It includes detailed critical engagements with poets running from Whitman to the present day. The study of John Ashbery is particularly notable. Year's Work in English Studies 20060101

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This book is the winner of the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism. Amid gloomy forecasts of the decline of the humanities and the death of poetry, Angus Fletcher, a wise and dedicated literary voice, sounds a note of powerful, tempered optimism. He lays out a fresh approach to American poetry at large, the first in several decades, expounding a defence of the art that will resonate well into the new century.

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