Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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p. v

Illustrations

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p. vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

The poets discussed in the following pages drew from and collaborated with each other to an extent that belies traditional ideas of originality. On a more modest scale, the same is true of this book, built from the con- tributions of other...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-14

In 1908, T. S. Eliot saw a painting by Manet and described it in one of his first poems, “On a Portrait.” A year and a half later, he began “Portrait of a Lady” in his rooms at Harvard, finishing it in Paris in November, but keeping it to himself...

Part One The Portrait Poem to 1912

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p. 15

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ONE Portraiture in the Rossetti Circle

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pp. 17-47

The artist engaged on a portrait, is to inscribe the character and not the features,” instructed an 1861 article on portraiture. The artist “must ‘esteem the man who sits to him as himself only an imperfect picture or likeness of the aspiring original within.’ ”1 According to this view of portraiture, the artist’s...

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TWO Ezra Pound

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pp. 48-75

Of the american modernist poets, Ezra Pound entered the twentieth century most openly under the sign of Rossetti and English Aestheticism; he was also the most prolific writer of portrait poems. Before the publication of his collected...

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THREE T. S. Eliot

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pp. 76-110

In the fall of 1908, the young T. S. Eliot composed two sonnets for publication in the Harvard Advocate, “Circe’s Palace” and “On a Por- trait.” These poems are remarkable for their skilled integration of the Rossettian picture sonnet...

Part Two Modulations 1912 to 1922

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p. 110

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FOUR Contraction

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pp. 113-143

The years 1912 and 1913 marked a sea change in many areas of litera- ture and in modern life generally.1 In poetry, a thorough rethinking of form, style, and content were underway. From 1912 to 1922, poets who had learned their craft under...

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FIVE Expansion

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pp. 144-182

In the years following its Imagist contraction, the portrait poem breathed out, multiplying into collections and expanding into longer and more complex forms. From Masters’s book-length Spoon River Anthology in 1915 to the twenty...

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SIX Pastoral Mode

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pp. 193-212

In 1914, William Carlos Williams sent a sequence of “Pastorals and Self-Portraits” to his friend Viola Baxter. Like Eliot’s “On a Portrait” and Pound’s “La Donzella Beata” and “Portrait: from ‘La Mère Inconnue,’ ” these poems were...

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Coda

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pp. 213-218

In focusing on only a few poets, this study has excluded many portrait poems that deserve attention. Before ending, I turn here briefly to one such group of portraits that point both forward to the rest of the twentieth century, and backward to the...

Notes

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pp. 219-244

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 245-252

Index

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pp. 253-260