Poetry & Responsibility

BookPoetry & Responsibility

Poetry & Responsibility

Poetry &..., 6

2014

March 18th, 2014

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Neil Corcoran's new book considers the kinds of responsibility which some exemplary modern lyric poetry takes on, or to which it makes itself subject – social, cultural, political, aesthetic and personal. It treats its theme in British, Irish and American poets and in some influential foreign-language poets available in influential English translations. The book discusses the poetry of the First World War and the Cold War in such poets as Owen, Rosenberg, Pasternak, Zbigniew Herbert and Robert Lowell; the poetry and politics of modern Ireland in Yeats, MacNeice, Heaney and others; and poetry's relations with prose, painting and song in poets including Frank O'Hara, Ted Hughes and Bob Dylan. It focuses particularly on forms of modern elegy. Poetry & Responsibility includes such topics as: the conflicting impulses in Owen between his obligations as a soldier and as a poet; Yeats's gradual creation of one of his greatest poems out of his responsibilities as an Irish schools inspector; Heaney's requirement that poetry make an 'apology' for itself; O'Hara's deployment of a camp sensibility in the interests of writing a politics of 1950s Black American culture; Herbert's rewriting of Hamlet as a reading of Warsaw Pact Poland; and the political and aesthetic significance of Dylan's restless self-revision. The book argues that exemplary modern lyric poetry can be shown to resist various forms of accommodation or appropriation. In its strategies of opposition, it becomes what Auden calls it in his elegy for Yeats: 'A way of happening, a mouth.'

'Whatever the audience for poetry criticism may be today, this is the kind of book it needs: wide-ranging, eloquent, and a model of intellectual responsibility.'
David Wheatley

'There is an excellent essay on Yeats’s ‘Among School Children’, which gives an impressive rundown of the history of clashing readings that this most mysterious of poems has provoked.'
Adam Hanna, Year's Work in English Studies

https://global.oup.com/academic/product/9781781380352?cc=us

About The Author

Neil Corcoran is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Cover1
Half-title2
Title page4
Copyright page5
Dedication6
Contents8
Acknowledgements10
Introduction12
Part I22
Chapter 1 24
Chapter 2 38
Chapter 3 51
Part II68
Chapter 470
Chapter 586
Chapter 6 103
Chapter 7 118
Chapter 8136
Part III146
Chapter 9148
Chapter 10 162
Chapter 11 175
Chapter 12 191
Notes207
Index220