Abstract

Abstract:

This essay argues for the existence of a contemporary genre: the US house poem. Looking briefly over some precursor poems in the British country-house tradition, the essay finds that poetic genres re-emerge in a punctuated fashion, embedded in the rhythms of historical capitalism. Twenty-first century poems by Nikki Wallschlaeger, Jennifer S. Cheng, and Tracy K. Smith craft a politics and poetics of domestic interiors by recentering the house poem around the bodies, affects, and perceptions the genre has traditionally excluded. Attending to the generic contexts for contemporary US poetry clarifies the nature of political speech found in some of its dominant strains, which can depend as much on the arguments the poems conduct with poetic histories as on the rhetorical stances they take in the political present.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-661X
Print ISSN
0028-6087
Pages
pp. 615-637
Launched on MUSE
2020-10-03
Open Access
No
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