By Jahan Ramazani
Poetry is usually considered as culturally homogeneous—“stubbornly national,” in T. S. Eliot’s word, or “the so much provincial of the arts,” based on W. H. Auden. yet in A Transnational Poetics, Jahan Ramazani uncovers the ocean-straddling energies of the poetic imagination—in modernism and the Harlem Renaissance; in post–World battle II North the United States and the North Atlantic; and in ethnic American, postcolonial, and black British writing. Cross-cultural trade and impression are, he argues, one of the leader engines of poetic improvement within the 20th- and twenty-first centuries. Reexamining the paintings of a wide range of poets, from Eliot, Yeats, and Langston Hughes to Elizabeth Bishop, Lorna Goodison, and Agha Shahid Ali, Ramazani unearths the numerous ways that smooth and modern poetry in English overflows nationwide borders and exceeds the scope of nationwide literary paradigms. via quite a few transnational templates—globalization, migration, shuttle, style, impact, modernity, decolonization, and diaspora—he discovers poetic connection and discussion throughout international locations or even hemispheres. highly wide-ranging in scope but carefully curious about details, A Transnational Poetics demonstrates how poetic research can foster an aesthetically attuned transnational literary feedback that's whilst alert to modernity’s worldwide .
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Extra resources for A Transnational Poetics
Studies in cultural transnationalism have recently proliferated in a variety of humanistic subﬁelds, but in studies of modern and contemporary poetry in English, single-nation genealogies remain surprisingly entrenched: an army of anthologies, job descriptions, library catalogs, books, articles, and annotations reterritorializes the cross-national mobility of modern and contemporary poetry under the single-nation banner. If Stein were an exception among twentieth-century poets, this disciplinary paradigm—which goes back to Johann Gottfried von Herder’s pre-Romantic concept of literature as an expression of national identity and rigidiﬁed in the cold-war American academy—could surely accommodate her.
Pound’s and Eliot’s American backgrounds are surely crucial to their art, as Crawford usefully demonstrates, but identitarian tags such as “the poet from St. Louis,” “fundamentally American,” “quintessentially American,” “distinctively American,” “very American grain,” and “solidly American” risk draining modernism of its cross-national complexity. 28 chapter two The modernism Crawford sees as “essentially provincial” (270) is instead profoundly cross-cultural, translocal, and transnational. Pound’s and Eliot’s achievements are incomprehensible without taking seriously the global reach of a modernism that, polyglot and jaggedly transcultural, interweaves Euro-classicism and Chinese ideograms, cockney gossip and Sanskrit parable, Confucius and Thomas Jefferson, the thunderous God of the Hebrew Bible and a Brahmin creator god.
41 In short, these and many other instances of dislocation and hybridization, of creolized genres and idioms, of shared intercultural precursors and forms, of postnational skepticisms and sedimented geographies, reveal the holes in nationalist disciplinary partitions. Granted, neither the United States nor the United Kingdom lacked A Transnational Poetics 35 literary regionalists or nationalists: A. E. Housman hymned the Shropshire countryside, as did Carl Sandburg Chicago’s cityscapes, while E.
A Transnational Poetics by Jahan Ramazani