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The poem of the act of the mind
August 2, 2010 5:59 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a collection of modernist poetics by poets -- Pound, Crane, Stevens and such.

I'm looking for a collection of writings by modernists defending and explaining their poetry and their idea of poetry, i.e. the Imagist Manifesto, the writings on Objectivism, Hart Crane's explanations of his work, etc. A collection of American modernist poetic theory would be perfect. American/British would be fine. Some German and French thrown in would be allright, although I don't read French too hot. A mix of poetic theory and poetry would be lovely. If it covers poetry and prose writers together that'd be allright. Or if you just know of several books that would do the job together, that'd be great. The point is that I'm trying to gather as much as I can without having to buy 20 different books. I have on my bookshelf Stevens' The Necessary Angel, a good collection of Gertrude Stein's writings, a copy of Tradition and the Individual Talent, and otherwise just a bunch of random poetry anthologies. -- I am NOT interested in secondary literature on modernist poetry, in other words I don't want a collection of academics' writings about modernist poetry. Manifestos and such like is what I'm looking for. Poems about poetry, like Stevens' "Of Modern Poetry", are also good. -- Thank you for any pointers you can give me.
posted by creasy boy to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
One good source is Twentieth-Century American Poetics: Poets on the Art of Poetry:
This comprehensive chronological anthology includes 58 essays on poetry by 53 poets. Starting with James Weldon Johnson and Robert Frost, the book offers diverse and often conflicting accounts of the nature and function of poetry. The collection includes rarely anthologized essays by Jack Spicer, Rhina Espaillat, Anne Stevenson, and Ron Silliman, as well as work by some of the finest younger critics in America, including William Logan, Alice Fulton, and Christian Wiman.
posted by pracowity at 6:32 AM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do you have any standard anthologies of literary theory, such as The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism? This book will have a lot of the essays that you need. A search of the words "modernism" and "anthology" also brought up this book: Modernism: An Anthology, which looks pretty good.
posted by pickypicky at 6:36 AM on August 2, 2010


Marjorie Perloff's The Poetics of Indeterminacy: Rimbaud to Cage (Avant-Garde & Modernism Studies) cover some of what you are looking for, I think.
posted by Chairboy at 7:31 AM on August 2, 2010


Ooooops, that's possibly a bit secondary, having read the post more closely. Sorry. My bad.
posted by Chairboy at 7:32 AM on August 2, 2010


Yeah, not Marjorie Perloff so much. The other three titles are very helpful. Not quite bang on the money, but I'll probably order them, they look like they're worth having anyways. Thanks and please keep the suggestions coming.
posted by creasy boy at 7:44 AM on August 2, 2010


Try Poetics of the New American Poetry, the companion volume to The New American Poetry, 1945-1960 .

I don't have the book in front of me right now, but I seem to remember it has a pretty wide range of primary sources on poetics centered around the late modernist and early beat era.

I'm positive it is out of print by now, but you should be able to find a decent copy used.
posted by monkey.pie.baker at 11:05 AM on August 2, 2010


i have the anthology pickypicky linked to (the one edited by Rainey) and it is excellent.
posted by gursky at 6:06 PM on August 2, 2010


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