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Cold War Poetry

by Brunner, Edward A

  • ISBN: 9780252025921
  • ISBN10: 025202592X

Cold War Poetry

by Brunner, Edward A

  • List Price: $29.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publish date: 01/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780252025921
  • ISBN10: 025202592X
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Description: Mainstream American poetry of the 1950s has long been dismissed as deliberately indifferent to its cultural circumstances. In this penetrating study, Edward Brunner breaks the placid surface of the hollow decade to reveal a poetry sharply responsive to issues of its time.

Cold War Poetry considers the fifties poem as part of a cultural project to initiate an upwardly mobile postwar audience into high culture. Brunner revisits Richard Wilbur, Randall Jarrell, and other acknowledged leaders of the period as well as neglected writers such as Rosalie Moore, V. R. Lang, Katherine Hoskins, Melvin B. Tolson, and Hyam Plutzik. He examines the one-sided authority of the (male-dominated) book review process and the power of the classroom anthology to establish criteria for reading. He also recontextualizes the decade's much-maligned domestic verse and examines how poetry written about the Bomb uses coded language to register a growing sense of cosmic disorder.

Attributing the gradual change in poetic style during the 1950s to the slow collapse of the authority of the state, Brunner shows how a secretive, anxious poetics developed in the shadow of a disabled government. Brilliantly decoding the politics embedded in the poetry of an ostensibly apolitical time, Edward Brunner's Cold War Poetry provides a powerful rereading of a pivotal decade.

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