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Palace-Burner the Selected Poetry of Sarah Piatt

by Paula Bennett

  • ISBN: 9780252026263
  • ISBN10: 0252026268

Palace-Burner the Selected Poetry of Sarah Piatt

by Paula Bennett

  • List Price: $29.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Illinois Pr
  • Publish date: 05/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780252026263
  • ISBN10: 0252026268
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Description: Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt (1836-1919) now ranks as the strongest American woman poet of the nineteenth century after Emily Dickinson. Published heavily in all the period's most prestigious journals, Piatt was widely celebrated by her peers as a gifted stylist in the genteel tradition. This selected edition reveals Piatt's other side: ironic, experimental, pushing the limits of Victorian language and the sentimental female persona.

Spanning more than half a century, this collection reveals the "borderland temper" of Piatt's mind and art. Her poetry, whether speaking of children, motherhood, marriage, or illicit love affairs, uses conventional language and forms but in ways that greatly broadened the range of what women's poetry could say. Going beyond and even contradicting the genteel aesthetic, Piatt's poetry moves toward an innovative kind of dramatic realism built on dialogue, an approach more familiar to modern readers, acquainted with Faulknerian polyvocal texts, than to her contemporaries.

This astutely edited selection of Piatt's mature work -- much of it never before collected -- explains why her "deviant poetics" caused her peers such discomfort and why they offer such fertile ground for study today. Illustrated with engravings from Harper's Weekly and Harper's Bazaar, both periodicals in which Piatt's work appeared, Palace-Burner marks the reemergence of one of the most interesting writers in American literary history.

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