THE CONTINUITY OF AMERICAN POETRY by Roy Harvey

THE CONTINUITY OF AMERICAN POETRY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is an interesting and scholarly study of American poetry, from its early practitioners to such modern proponents as Wallace Stevens, Conrad Aiken and T.S. Eliot. It is not an encyclopedic history, but an account of the major achievements of American poetry- among them Joel Barlow's Columbiad, Whitman's Song of Myself, Pound's Hart Crane's The , and William Carlos Williams' Paterson. A section deals with the American Emerson, Whitman and Emily Dickinson: there is a of the age. Alken, Cummings, Marianne Moore, Tate and of course Pound and Ellot. It is not exactly clear what the author, a Professor of English at Ohio State, is trying to prove and this vagueness of purpose is accented by the title of the last chapter- ""Conclusions in Which Nothing is Concluded"". But he does emphasize the difficulties of being a poet in our materialistic society. This is distinctly a ""highbrow"" work in which such terms as ""mythic"" as applied to Eliot, ""Adamic"" as applied to Whitman, and ""antinomian"" as applied to the whole of American poetry are used freely. But it has many original insights, and its main point- that whatever American poetry has been in the past- it will be something radically different- is probably accurate. For radical change is all around us. And it is a spacious survey which should appeal to all serious students of American literature.

Publisher: Princeton Univ. Press