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At the Brink of Infinity: Poetic Humility in Boundless American Space

by

At the Brink of Infinity: Poetic Humility in Boundless American Space Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From popular culture to politics to classic novels, quintessentially American texts take their inspiration from the idea of infinity. In the extraordinary literary century inaugurated by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the lyric too seemed to encounter possibilities as limitless as the U.S. imagination. This raises the question: What happens when boundlessness is more than just a figure of speech? Exploring new horizons is one thing, but actually looking at the horizon itself is something altogether different. In this carefully crafted analysis, James von der Heydt shines a new light on the lyric craft of Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, and James Merrill and considers how their seascape-vision redefines poetry's purpose.

Emerson famously freed U.S. literature from its past and opened it up to vastness; in the following century, a succession of brilliant, rigorous poets took the philosophical challenges of such freedom all too seriously. Facing the unmarked horizon, Emersonian poets capture—and are captured by—a stark, astringent version of human beauty. Their uncompromising visions of limitlessness reclaim infinity's proper legacy—and give American poetry its edge. Von der Heydt's book recovers the mystery of their world.

About the Author

James von der Heydt is an instructor in the Department of English at Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781587296284
Author:
Von Der Heydt, James E
Publisher:
University of Iowa Press
Author:
von der Heydt, James E.
Author:
Heydt, James E. Von der
Subject:
American
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
American poetry
Subject:
Infinite in literature.
Subject:
Dickinson, Emily
Subject:
Space and time in literature.
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
1
Publication Date:
20080331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
262
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » Criticism and Discussion
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Poetry Criticism

At the Brink of Infinity: Poetic Humility in Boundless American Space Used Hardcover
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Product details 262 pages University of Iowa Press - English 9781587296284 Reviews:
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