By Dr. Julie Carr, Jeffrey C. Robinson Ph.D., Dan Beachy-Quick, Jacques Darras, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Judith Goldman, Simon Jarvis, Andrew Joron, Nigel Leask, Jennifer Moxley, Bob Perelman, Jerome Rothenberg, Elizabeth Willis, Heriberto Yépez
Literary historical past commonly locates the first flow towards poetic innovation in twentieth-century modernism, an impulse performed opposed to a supposedly enervated “late-Romantic” poetry of the 19th century. the unique essays in Active Romanticism problem this interpretation by means of tracing the basic continuities among Romanticism’s poetic and political radicalism and the experimental pursuits in poetry from the late-nineteenth-century to the current day.
in keeping with editors July Carr and Jeffrey C. Robinson, “active romanticism” is a poetic reaction, direct or oblique, to urgent social matters and an try to redress sorts of ideological repression; at its middle, “active romanticism” champions democratic pluralism and confronts ideologies that suppress the facts of pluralism. “Poetry fetter’d, fetters the human race,” declared poet William Blake initially of the 19th century. No different assertion from the period of the French Revolution marks with such terseness the problem for poetry to take part within the liberation of human society from varieties of inequality and invisibility. No different assertion insists so vividly poetic occasion pushing for social development calls for the unfettering of conventional, widely used poetic shape and language.
Bringing jointly paintings through famous writers and critics, ranging from scholarly reports to poets’ testimonials, Active Romanticism shows Romantic poetry to not be the sclerotic corpse opposed to which the avant-garde reacted yet particularly the well-spring from which it flowed.
delivering a primary rethinking of the background of recent poetry, Carr and Robinson have grouped jointly during this assortment various essays that ascertain the life of Romanticism as an ongoing mode of poetic construction that's leading edge and dynamic, a continuation of the nineteenth-century Romantic culture, and a kind that reacts and renews itself at any given second of perceived social crisis. Cover photograph: Ruckenfigur by way of Susan Bee, 2013, oil on linen, 24 x 30 in.
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Additional resources for Active romanticism : the radical impulse in nineteenth-century and contemporary poetic practice
For the poems too differ, and one suspects—even as one tries to dismiss—that Swan’s poems are truly written by Swan himself. But what is it that “truly written” signifies? Our desire for “authority” proves itself suspicious. That suspicion is Corless-Smith’s Romantic inheritance—one that he admirably, necessarily, furthers. This lyric ambivalence also casts light back onto such protomoderns as Fernando Pessoa as profoundly Romantic in their experiment. Indeed, it might be heteronym as polytropic self, On Romanticism as Radical Praxis 45 a self that never can unify into the mere self—self as that indeterminate point in which accuracy and inaccuracy are interchangeable—that typifies radical Romantic personhood.
The formal openness of The Botanic Garden met me—or I met it—in a world that had acknowledged the compositional reality of “writing beyond the ending” and had accepted, via Deconstruction, the text’s resistance to authorial intention. Many years after my initial encounter with Erasmus Darwin, I found myself writing a kind of amped up, revisionary pastoral, and the series of prose poems that began to take shape brought me back to his work. The Botanic Garden affirmed my ongoing interest in the generative quality of mistakes, irregularities, and anomalies—what were called “monsters” in the parlance of its time.
In this sense, This Nest, Swift Passerine weaves into itself those writings by others that make any sense of the self as subject who says “I” possible in the first place. The poem is as a robin’s nest, a spiral that includes all the roving bird finds, be it mud and grass, be it Christmas tree tinsel, be it a receipt from Wal- Mart or a page from Paradise Lost, and brings that back to make out of it a home. This Nest, Swift Passerine offers itself as just such an experiment (and in more minor ways, the extensive footnotes of this very essay are an attempt to mimic the radical nature of the Romantic experiment—that is, to provide for itself a On Romanticism as Radical Praxis 43 ground that the thinking must dig down into, and in digging down, bring back up into a more considerate light).