Реферат Курсовая Конспект
POETRY 1914-1945: EXPERIMENTS IN FORM - Лекция, раздел Лингвистика, Курс лекций по предмету Романо-германская филология Ezra Pound (1885-1972) Ezra Pound Was One Of The Mo...
Ezra Pound (1885-1972)
Ezra Pound was one of the most influential American poets of this century. From 1908 to 1920, he resided in London, where he associated with many writers, including William Butler Yeats, for whom he worked as a secretary, and T.S. Eliot, whose Waste Land he drastically edited and improved. He was a link between the United States and Britain, acting as contributing editor to Harriet Monroe's important Chicago magazine Poetry and spearheading the new school of poetry known as Imagism, which advocated a clear, highly visual presentation. After Imagism, he championed various poetic approaches. He eventually moved to Italy, where he became caught up in Italian Fascism.
Pound furthered Imagism in letters, essays, and an anthology. In a letter to Monroe in 1915, he argues for a modern-sounding, visual poetry that avoids "cliché and set phrases." In "A Few Don'ts of an Imagiste" (1913), he defined "image" as something that "presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time." Pound's 1914 anthology of 10 poets, Des Imagistes, offered examples of Imagist poetry by outstanding poets, including William Carlos Williams, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), and Amy Lowell.
Pound's interests and reading were universal. His adaptations and brilliant, if sometimes flawed, translations introduced new literary possibilities from many cultures to modern writers. His life-work was The Cantos, which he wrote and published until his death. They contain brilliant passages, but their allusions to works of literature and art from many eras and cultures make them difficult. Pound's poetry is best known for its clear, visual images, fresh rhythms, and muscular, intelligent, unusual lines, such as, in Canto LXXXI, "The ant's a centaur in his dragon world," or in poems inspired by Japanese haiku, such as "In a Station of the Metro" (1916):
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)
Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to a well- to-do family with roots in the northeastern United States. He received the best education of any major American writer of his generation at Harvard College, the Sorbonne, and Merton College of Oxford University. He studied Sanskrit and Oriental philosophy, which influenced his poetry. Like his friend Pound, he went to England early and became a towering figure in the literary world there. One of the most respected poets of his day, his modernist, seemingly illogical or abstract iconoclastic poetry had revolutionary impact. He also wrote influential essays and dramas, and championed the importance of literary and social traditions for the modern poet.
As a critic, Eliot is best remembered for his formulation of the "objective correlative," which he described, in The Sacred Wood, as a means of expressing emotion through "a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events" that would be the "formula" of that particular emotion. Poems such as "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (1915) embody this approach, when the ineffectual, elderly Prufrock thinks to himself that he has "measured out his life in coffee spoons," using coffee spoons to reflect a humdrum existence and a wasted lifetime.
The famous beginning of Eliot's "Prufrock" invites the reader into tawdry alleys that, like modern life, offer no answers to the questions of life:
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question...
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.
Similar imagery pervades The Waste Land (1922), which echoes Dante's Inferno to evoke London's thronged streets around the time of World War I:
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many
I had not thought death had undone so many... (I, 60-63)
The Waste Land's vision is ultimately apocalyptic and worldwide:
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Jerusalem, Athens, Alexandria
Unreal (V, 373-377)
Eliot's other major poems include "Gerontion" (1920), which uses an elderly man to symbolize the decrepitude of Western society; "The Hollow Men" (1925), a moving dirge for the death of the spirit of contemporary humanity; Ash-Wednesday (1930), in which he turns explicitly toward the Church of England for meaning in human life; and Four Quartets (1943), a complex, highly subjective, experimental meditation on transcendent subjects such as time, the nature of self, and spiritual awareness. His poetry, especially his daring, innovative early work, has influenced generations.
Robert Frost (1874-1963)
Robert Lee Frost was born in California but raised on a farm in the northeastern United States until the age of 10. Like Eliot and Pound, he went to England, attracted by new movements in poetry there. A charismatic public reader, he was renowned for his tours. He read an original work at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy in 1961 that helped spark a national interest in poetry. His popularity is easy to explain: He wrote of traditional farm life, appealing to a nostalgia for the old ways. His subjects are universal -- apple picking, stone walls, fences, country roads. Frost's approach was lucid and accessible: He rarely employed pedantic allusions or ellipses. His frequent use of rhyme also appealed to the general audience.
Frost's work is often deceptively simple. Many poems suggest a deeper meaning. For example, a quiet snowy evening by an almost hypnotic rhyme scheme may suggest the not entirely unwelcome approach of death. From: "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" (1923):
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)
Born in Pennsylvania, Wallace Stevens was educated at Harvard College and New York University Law School. He practiced law in New York City from 1904 to 1916, a time of great artistic and poetic activity there. On moving to Hartford, Connecticut, to become an insurance executive in 1916, he continued writing poetry. His life is remarkable for its compartmentalization: His associates in the insurance company did not know that he was a major poet. In private he continued to develop extremely complex ideas of aesthetic order throughout his life in aptly named books such as Harmonium (enlarged edition 1931), Ideas of Order (1935), and Parts of a World (1942). Some of his best known poems are "Sunday Morning," "Peter Quince at the Clavier," "The Emperor of Ice-Cream," "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," and "The Idea of Order at Key West."
Stevens's poetry dwells upon themes of the imagination, the necessity for aesthetic form, and the belief that the order of art corresponds with an order in nature. His vocabulary is rich and various: He paints lush tropical scenes but also manages dry, humorous, and ironic vignettes.
Some of Stevens's poems draw upon popular culture, while others poke fun at sophisticated society or soar into an intellectual heaven. He is known for his exuberant word play: "Soon, with a noise like tambourines / Came her attendant Byzantines."
Stevens's work is full of surprising insights. Sometimes he plays tricks on the reader, as in "Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock" (1931):
The houses are haunted
By white night-gowns.
None are green,
Or purple with green rings,
Or green with yellow rings,
Or yellow with blue rings.
None of them are strange,
With socks of lace
And beaded ceintures.
People are not going
To dream of baboons and periwinkles.
Only, here and there, an old sailor,
Drunk and asleep in his boots,
In red weather.
This poem seems to complain about unimaginative lives (plain white nightgowns), but actually conjures up vivid images in the reader's mind. At the end a drunken sailor, oblivious to the proprieties, does "catch tigers" -- at least in his dream. The poem shows that the human imagination -- of reader or sailor -- will always find a creative outlet.
William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)
William Carlos Williams was a practicing pediatrician throughout his life; he delivered over 2,000 babies and wrote poems on his prescription pads. Williams was a classmate of poets Ezra Pound and Hilda Doolittle, and his early poetry reveals the influence of Imagism. He later went on to champion the use of colloquial speech; his ear for the natural rhythms of American English helped free American poetry from the iambic meter that had dominated English verse since the Renaissance. His sympathy for ordinary working people, children, and everyday events in modern urban settings make his poetry attractive and accessible. "The Red Wheelbarrow" (1923), like a Dutch still life, finds interest and beauty in everyday objects.
Williams cultivated a relaxed, natural poetry. In his hands, the poem was not to become a perfect object of art as in Stevens, or the carefully re-created Wordsworthian incident as in Frost. Instead, the poem was to capture an instant of time like an unposed snapshot -- a concept he derived from photographers and artists he met at galleries like Stieglitz's in New York City. Like photographs, his poems often hint at hidden possibilities or attractions, as in "The Young Housewife" (1917).
He termed his work "objectivist" to suggest the importance of concrete, visual objects. His work often captured the spontaneous, emotive pattern of experience, and influenced the "Beat" writing of the early 1950s.
Like Eliot and Pound, Williams tried his hand at the epic form, but while their epics employ literary allusions directed to a small number of highly educated readers, Williams instead writes for a more general audience. Though he studied abroad, he elected to live in the United States. His epic, Paterson (five vols., 1946-58), celebrates his hometown of Paterson, New Jersey, as seen by an autobiographical "Dr. Paterson." In it, Williams juxtaposed lyric passages, prose, letters, autobiography, newspaper accounts, and historical facts. The layout's ample white space suggests the open road theme of American literature and gives a sense of new vistas even open to the poor people who picnic in the public park on Sundays. Like Whitman's persona in Leaves of Grass, Dr. Paterson moves freely among the working people.
a Sunday afternoon!
- and goes by the footpath to the cliff (counting:
himself among others
- treads there the same stones
on which their feet slip as they climb,
paced by their dogs!
laughing, calling to each other -
Wait for me!
(II, i, 14-23)
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