By David Caplan
Questions of chance examines the actual varieties that modern American poets desire and people they forget. The poets' offerings display either their objectives and their boundaries, the hot percentages they detect and the traditions they locate unbelievable. via shut realization to the sestina, ghazal, love sonnet, ballad, and heroic couplet, this examine advances a brand new realizing of up to date American poetry. instead of pitting "closed" verse opposed to "open" and "traditional" poetry opposed to "experimental," Questions of threat explores how poets linked to assorted events encourage and tell every one other's paintings. Discussing more than a few authors, from Charles Bernstein, Derek Walcott, and Marilyn Hacker to Agha Shahid Ali, David Caplan treats those poets as contemporaries who percentage the language, no longer as partisans assigned to rival camps. the main fascinating modern poetry crosses the bounds that literary feedback attracts, synthesizing various impacts and constructing impressive affinities. In a chain of full of life readings, Caplan charts the varied features and accomplishments of recent poetry, from the homosexual and lesbian love sonnet to the at the moment renowned sestina.
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Extra resources for Questions of Possibility: Contemporary Poetry and Poetic Form
3 Only a few decades separated these poems from Pound’s “Sestina: Altaforte,” the most famous postRenaissance attempt in the form. 4 Departing from Pound’s model in theme and style, the three sestinas written in the 1930s modernized the form. Witnessing the Great Depression, they introduced modern life to this archaic structure. Before these poems, the sestina remained an extremely minor form in English. Invented by Arnaut Daniel and made famous by Petrarch and Dante, it entered English literature during the sixteenth century.
By prolonging its acknowledgment of Yolek’s murder, the poem urges the reader to adopt two contradictory positions, to anticipate Yolek’s death and to anticipate his equally unimaginable survival. For this reason, the envoy’s full acknowledgment of Yolek’s murder is both startling and wholly predictable. ”31 In a 1992 lecture, Hecht celebrates “the contrariety of impulses” that he claims deﬁnes the greatest works of art: I have attempted here to make the claim that the richest, most eloquent and durable of the arts in general, and poetry in particular, is always multivalenced, and implicitly when not explicitly dialectical.
Rich, Collected Early Poems, 350) Written in July 1968, amid the legal wrangling that soon convinced Eldridge Cleaver to ﬂee to Cuba and Algiers, the poem presciently casts Cleaver as an exile-in-the-making. Strikingly, the ghazal depicts “LeRoi” as equally unavailable in “the cities where you want to be at home” or, more precisely, where the speaker wants him to want to be at home. “Someone has always been desperate, now it’s our turn,” the poem insists, as whites experience an urban “desperation” previously limited to blacks and other racial minorities.