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By Dr. Julie Carr, Jeffrey C. Robinson Ph.D., Dan Beachy-Quick, Jacques Darras, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Judith Goldman, Simon Jarvis, Andrew Joron, Nigel Leask, Jennifer Moxley, Bob Perelman, Jerome Rothenberg, Elizabeth Willis, Heriberto Yépez

Literary background as a rule locates the first circulate towards poetic innovation in twentieth-century modernism, an impulse performed opposed to a supposedly enervated “late-Romantic” poetry of the 19th century. the unique essays in Active Romanticism problem this interpretation by means of tracing the basic continuities among Romanticism’s poetic and political radicalism and the experimental events in poetry from the late-nineteenth-century to the current day.
in line with editors July Carr and Jeffrey C. Robinson, “active romanticism” is a poetic reaction, direct or oblique, to urgent social concerns and an try to redress different types of ideological repression; at its center, “active romanticism” champions democratic pluralism and confronts ideologies that suppress the proof of pluralism. “Poetry fetter’d, fetters the human race,” declared poet William Blake at the start of the 19th century. No different assertion from the period of the French Revolution marks with such terseness the problem for poetry to take part within the liberation of human society from varieties of inequality and invisibility. No different assertion insists so vividly poetic occasion pushing for social development calls for the unfettering of conventional, generic poetic shape and language.
Bringing jointly paintings via famous writers and critics, ranging from scholarly reports to poets’ testimonials, Active Romanticism shows Romantic poetry to not be the sclerotic corpse opposed to which the avant-garde reacted yet really the well-spring from which it flowed.
delivering a basic rethinking of the historical past of contemporary poetry, Carr and Robinson have grouped jointly during this assortment numerous essays that make sure the life of Romanticism as an ongoing mode of poetic creation that's cutting edge and dynamic, a continuation of the nineteenth-century Romantic culture, and a sort that reacts and renews itself at any given second of perceived social crisis. Cover snapshot: Ruckenfigur through Susan Bee, 2013, oil on linen, 24 x 30 in.

Contributors: Dan Beachy-Quick / Julie Carr / Jacques Darras / Rachel Blau DuPlessis / Judith Goldman / Simon Jarvis / Andrew Joron / Nigel Leask / Jennifer Moxley / Bob Perelman / Jeffrey C. Robinson / Jerome Rothenberg / Elizabeth Willis / and Heriberto Yépez

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What follows this passage is a set of beatitudes that, among other things, claims for poetry the status of scripture and invites the reader to question and investigate—essentially to read and write her world: This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-­examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.

A common language bears within it the necessary conditions of its own use. A rustic life chosen as the object of poetic imitation allows access to a language whose meaning is not simply referential in nature, but relational—a work-­language whose expressive source erupts from the ground whose command it gives to turn, to plow, to sow, to reap. It is an urgent language whose danger is deeply intertwined with its own mimetic root. The urgency is that the world is real, is material, and though it seems wholly false, merely “romantic,” to claim for a word a reality as substantive as that of an ear of wheat, or the germ whose ponderous weight bends the ear back to the ground from 40 Dan Beachy-Quick which it sprang, it is Romantic to see that language inscribes in the human mind the process by which the wheat grows, is harvested, is ground, is baked into bread.

Laft, for fecond, read third. P. 94. l. 76, for boated, read bloated. 24 Elizabeth Willis P. 101. l. laft but one, for ifle, read ifles. P. 132. l. laft but 6, for exoitic, read exotic. (viii) The end of the text is similarly complicated, sidetracked, all but evaded. In the last few pages of the poem, where a conventional pastoral might deliver a domesticated shepherdess, Darwin swerves into a further rewriting of mythic and literary fig­ures. Potential threats appear—a leopard, a swan—but, as if undoing Leda’s fate, they are tamed, appearing among the protagonist’s ceremonial parade, guarding her steps, gliding along in lateral relation as its social and erotic sphere opens further.

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