Реферат Курсовая Конспект
IDIOSYNCRATIC POETS - Лекция, раздел Лингвистика, Курс лекций по предмету романо-германская филология P Oets Who Have Developed Unique Styles Drawing On Tradi...
P oets who have developed unique styles drawing on tradition but extending it into new realms with a distinctively contemporary flavor, in addition to Plath and Sexton, include John Berryman, Theodore Roethke, Richard Hugo, Philip Levine, James Dickey, Elizabeth Bishop, and Adrienne Rich.
Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)
Sylvia Plath lived an outwardly exemplary life, attending Smith College on scholarship, graduating first in her class, and winning a Fulbright grant to Cambridge University in England. There she met her charismatic husband-to-be, poet Ted Hughes, with whom she had two children and settled in a country house in England. Beneath the fairy-tale success festered unresolved psychological problems evoked in her highly readable novel The Bell Jar (1963). Some of these problems were personal, while others arose from repressive 1950s attitudes toward women. Among these were the beliefs -- shared by most women themselves -- that women should not show anger or ambitiously pursue a career, and instead find fulfillment in tending their husbands and children. Successful women like Plath lived a contradiction.
Plath's storybook life crumbled when she and Hughes separated and she cared for the young children in a London apartment during a winter of extreme cold. Ill, isolated, and in despair, Plath worked against the clock to produce a series of stunning poems before she committed suicide by gassing herself in her kitchen. These poems were collected in the volume Ariel (1965), two years after her death. Robert Lowell, who wrote the introduction, noted her poetry's rapid development from the time she and Anne Sexton had attended his poetry classes in 1958. Plath's early poetry is well-crafted and traditional, but her late poems exhibit a desperate bravura and proto-feminist cry of anguish. In "The Applicant" (1966), Plath exposes the emptiness in the current role of wife (who is reduced to an inanimate "it"):
A living doll, everywhere you look.
It can sew, it can cook.
It can talk, talk, talk.
It works, there is nothing wrong with it.
You have a hole, it's a poultice.
You have an eye, it's an image.
My boy, it's your last resort.
Will you marry it, marry it, marry it.
Plath dares to use a nursery rhyme language, a brutal directness. She has a knack for using bold images from popular culture. Of a baby she writes, "Love set you going like a fat gold watch." In "Daddy," she imagines her father as the Dracula of cinema: "There's a stake in your fat black heart / And the villagers never liked you."
Anne Sexton (1928-1974)
Like Plath, Anne Sexton was a passionate woman who attempted to be wife, mother, and poet on the eve of the women's movement in the United States. Like Plath, she suffered from mental illness, and ultimately committed suicide. Sexton's confessional poetry is more autobiographical than Plath's and lacks the craftedness Plath's earlier poems exhibit. Sexton's poems appeal powerfully to the emotions, however. They thrust taboo subjects such as sex, guilt, and suicide into close focus. Often they daringly introduce female topics such as childbearing, the female body, or marriage seen from a female point of view. In poems like "Her Kind" (1960), Sexton identifies with a witch burned at the stake:
I have ridden in your cart, driver,
waved my nude arms at villages going by,
learning the last bright routes, survivor
where your flames still bite my thigh
and my ribs crack where your wheels wind.
A woman like that is not ashamed to die.
I have been her kind.
The titles of her works indicate their concern with madness and death. They include To Bedlam and Part Way Back (1960), Live or Die (1966), and the posthumous book The Awful Rowing Toward God (1975).
John Berryman (1914-1972)
John Berryman's life parallels Robert Lowell's in some respects. Born in Oklahoma, he was educated in the Northeast -- at prep school and at Columbia University, and later was a fellow at Princeton University. Specializing in traditional forms and meters, he was inspired by early American history and wrote self- critical, confessional poems in his Dream Songs (1969), which feature a grotesque autobiographical character named Henry and reflections on his own teaching routine, chronic alcoholism, and ambition.
Like his contemporary, Theodore Roethke, Berryman developed a supple, playful, but profound style enlivened by phrases from folklore, children's rhymes, cliché, and slang. Berryman writes, of Henry, "He stared at ruin. Ruin stared straight back." Elsewhere, he wittily writes, "Oho alas alas / When will indifference come, I moan and rave."
Theodore Roethke (1908-1963)
The son of a greenhouse owner, Theodore Roethke evolved a special language evoking the "greenhouse world" of tiny insects and unseen roots: "Worm, be with me. / This is my hard time." His love poems in Words for the Wind (1958) celebrate beauty and desire with innocent passion: One poem begins "I knew a woman, lovely in her bones, / When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them." Sometimes his poems seem like nature's shorthand or ancient riddles: "Who stunned the dirt into noise? / Ask the mole, he knows."
Richard Hugo (1923-1982)
Richard Hugo, a native of Seattle, Washington, studied under Theodore Roethke. He grew up poor in dismal urban environments and excelled at communicating the hopes, fears, and frustrations of working people against the backdrop of the northwestern United States. Hugo wrote nostalgic, confessional poems in bold iambics about shabby, forgotten small towns in his part of the United States; he wrote of shame, failure, and rare moments of acceptance through human relationships. He focused the reader's attention on minute, seemingly inconsequential details in order to make more significant points. "What Thou Lovest Well, Remains American" (1975) ends with a person carrying memories of his old hometown as if they were food:
in case you're stranded in some odd
and need hungry lovers for friends,
and need feel
you are welcome in the street club
they have formed.
Philip Levine (1928- )
Philip Levine, born in Detroit, Michigan, deals directly with the economic sufferings of workers through keen observation, rage, and painful irony. Like Hugo, his background is urban and poor. He has been the voice for the lonely individual caught up in industrial America. Much of his poetry is somber and reflects an anarchic tendency amid the realization that systems of government will endure.
In one poem, Levine likens himself to a fox who survives in a dangerous world of hunters through his courage and cunning. In terms of his rhythmic pattern, he has traveled a path from traditional meters in his early works to a freer, more open line in his later poetry as he expresses his lonely protest against the evils of the contemporary world.
James Dickey (1923- )
James Dickey, a novelist and essayist as well as poet, is a native of Georgia. By his own reflection, he believes that the major theme in his work is the continuity that exists -- or must exist -- between the self and the world. Much of his writing is rooted in nature -- rivers and mountains, weather patterns, and the perils lurking within.
In the late 1960s, Dickey began working on a novel, Deliverance, about the dark side of male bonding, which, when published and later filmed, increased his renown. His recent collections of verse deal with such varied themes as the landscape of the South (Jericho: The South Beheld, 1974) and the influence of the Bible on his life (God's Images, 1977). Dickey is often concerned with effort: "Outdoing, desperately / Outdoing what is required."
Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) and Adrienne Rich (1929- )
Among women poets of the idiosyncratic group, Elizabeth Bishop and Adrienne Rich have garnered the most respect in recent years. Bishop's crystalline intelligence and interest in remote landscapes and metaphors of travel appeal to readers for their exactitude and subtlety. Like her mentor Marianne Moore, Bishop, who never married, wrote highly crafted poems in a cool, descriptive style that contains hidden philosophical depths. The description of the ice-cold North Atlantic in "At the Fishhouses" could apply to Bishop's own poetry: "It is like what we imagine knowledge to be: / dark, salt, clear, moving, utterly free."
With Moore, Bishop may be placed in a "cool" female poetic tradition harking back to Emily Dickinson, in comparison with the "hot" poems of Plath, Sexton, and Adrienne Rich. Though Rich began by writing poems in traditional form and meter, her works, particularly those written after she became an ardent feminist in the 1960s, embody strong emotions. Her special genius is the metaphor, as in her extraordinary work "Diving Into the Wreck" (1973), evoking a woman's search for identity in terms of diving down to a wrecked ship. The wreck is like the wreckage of women s selfhood, the speaker suggests; women must find their way through male-dominated realms. Rich's poem "The Roofwalker" (1961), dedicated to poet Denise Levertov, imagines poetry writing, for women, as a dangerous craft. Like men building a roof, she feels "exposed, larger than life, / and due to break my neck."
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