American Poetry and Poetry Criticism Now

By Caplan, David | The Virginia Quarterly Review, Spring 2012 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

American Poetry and Poetry Criticism Now


Caplan, David, The Virginia Quarterly Review


In his recent poem, "Introspective Voyager," lames Longenbach depicts an aging poetry scholar, the speakers mentor:

He smoked in a way that seemed old-fashioned, from the fifties.

He remembered that, as a boy, he stood beside a closed door listening

To his teachers, Richard Blackmur and John Berryman.

He couldn't tell a poet from a critic;

They talked about the same things in the same way.

This layered portrait contrasts two generations' experiences. Blackmur "needed people the way he needed cigarettes," Eileen Simpson recalls in her memoir of that era, when she was married to John Berryman, "He needed conversation." Acknowledging this mutual need, Berryman's "Olympus" quotes Blackmur's prose, adding line breaks. Even on the page poet and scholar sound alike. Employing the same technique, Longenbach's poem later quotes the teacher's monograph, but to different effect: as a rueful monologue, not a conversation. The recent past feels distantly remote. Even to recount it is to appear out of touch with contemporary realities: vaguely mythic and ghostly.

The American poetry scene has not gone back to the days of the midcentury generation- nor should it. It also largely avoids the least attractive development that claimed the intervening years, when the ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry returned as farce. More recently, the relation of poetry and criticism changed. Instead of warring with or, worse, ignoring each other, American poets and critics show a renewed interest in each others' work. Each informs the other. Many scholars actively participate in poetic communities, supporting and influencing their activities, and a majority of major poetry scholars publish their own poetry.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

American Poetry and Poetry Criticism Now
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.