Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-viii

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Introduction: Active Romanticism

Julie Carr and Jeffrey C. Robinson

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pp. 1-17

In Active Romanticism fourteen poets and critics bear witness to the effects of Romantic poetry and poetics on modern and contemporary innovative poetry. By “active Romanticism” we refer to a poetic response, either direct or indirect, to a “social antagonism” (Marx, Adorno), an attempt to lift a repression...

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1. Bright Ellipses: The Botanic Garden, Meteoric Flowers, and Leaves of Grass

Elizabeth Willis

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pp. 18-30

Erasmus Darwin was introduced to me by William Blake. I was in my twenties, had a handful of poems in print, but had not yet published a book. I was unread in both senses of the word: painfully conscious of the gaps in my education and increasingly aware that the poetry I wrote was unlikely to...

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2. “The Oracular Tree Acquiring”: On Romanticism as Radical Praxis

Dan Beachy-Quick

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pp. 31-46

In September of 1851 Henry David Thoreau returned repeatedly to “the new telegraph wire” to hear the music in the air. The music sang not only in the air, though the wind blowing across the tense wires gave the “sound of a far-off glorious life, a supernal life” that “vibrated in the lattice-work of this life...

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3. Singing Schools and “Mental Equality”: An Essay in Three Parts

Rachel Blau DuPlessis

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pp. 47-69

“Will no one tell me what she sings?”
How is gender represented, constructed, and played through in the literary tradition as we know it? Clearly there are many ways—but there might be some preliminary typology one can construct of these mechanisms, mechanisms that fundamentally rest on the terrain of power-in- culture. This terrain...

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4. A Deeper, Older O: The Oral (Sex) Tradition (in Poetry)

Jennifer Moxley

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pp. 70-90

Jonathan Culler admits in his essay on apostrophe that the poetic O is an embarrassment, “embarrassing to me and to you” (Pursuit 135). It is so by virtue of being “the pure embodiment of poetic pretension,” which “proclaims its artificial character rather too obviously” (Pursuit 143, 152). This shameful...

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5. The Construction of Poems for the Millennium, Volume Three and the Poems It Engendered

Jerome Rothenberg

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pp. 91-98

In the course of assembling volume 3 of Poems for the Millennium, I was engaged in two—at least two—companion works. This wasn’t at all strange but fit, maybe too neatly, into a view that I like to put forward—that the composition of large structures like the Millennium volumes is inseparable from my...

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6. Copying Whitman

Bob Perelman

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pp. 99-107

A few times I’ve turned into an anti-Bartleby of sorts and typed out the work of other writers. I do it both for pleasure and to practice, somehow or other, the craft. In this case I opened up the Library of America Whitman in the middle and starting typing the last section of “Passage to India,” which I...

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7. “A Spark o’ Nature’s Fire”: Robert Burns and the Vernacular Muse

Nigel Leask

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pp. 108-126

The spoken language, like the weather, is part of the local climate in which a poet breathes and writes, and it is just as resistant to prediction or system. This essay sets out to claim Robert Burns’s vernacular “revolt against literature” as a harbinger of the “active Romanticism” addressed by the other essays...

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8. Hyper-Pindaric: The Greater Irregular Lyric from Cowley to Keston Sutherland

Simon Jarvis

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pp. 127-144

The question of the relationship between poetry written in English now and that written in England at the beginning of the nineteenth century keeps opening up again, whenever “now” happens to be. Central to this question are those irregular grand lyrics which appear to come almost from nowhere...

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9. Dysachrony: Temporalities and Their Discontents, in New and Old Romanticisms

Judith Goldman

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pp. 145-175

The text stands in our stead as though we were dead, has always already entertained contexts that we, in propria persona, will never enter, grounded only in the groundless inhumanity of writing. Dying in the distributed non-instaurations of text as network (textile, “tissue of quotations”), the author...

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10. The Influence of Shelley on Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Avant-Garde Poetry: A Survey

Jeffrey C. Robinson

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pp. 176-196

The reputation of Percy Bysshe Shelley and his influence upon later poets have produced irreconcilable differences in understanding among poets and readers. At the Shelleyan poles stand on the one hand the Arnoldian Shelley, the ineffectual angel who becomes Palgrave’s prime instance of a “poésie...

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11. The Dialectic of Romantic and Postromantic Ethopoetics (after Certain Hispano-American Visual Poetries)

Heriberto Yépez, translated by Jen Hofer

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pp. 197-211

I will remark on a series of twentieth-century avant-garde poems written by Hispano-American poets that revise and dismantle the conventional Romantic notion of the stable lyric subject, as it appears in the topos of “the walk,” by considering that subject in a visual medium. Very roughly, one can speak...

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12. The Sublime Is Now Again

Julie Carr

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pp. 212-227

As we encounter it in textbooks, on Wikipedia, in introductions to anthologies, the Victorian period is often, and in many senses justly, described as dedicated to gradual, developmental social progress. Pax Britannica, the Reform Acts of 1832 and 1867, advances in labor and marriage laws, the development...

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13. Beyond Romanticism

Jacques Darras

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pp. 228-233

Strangely enough, the manner in which around 1800 the Young German poets in Jena developed the art of “romanticizing,” as Friedrich Schlegel would say, did not draw proper attention among French scholars until philosophers Jean-Luc Nancy and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe published their excellent...

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14. Accident over N: Lines of Flight in the Philosophical Notebooks of Novalis

Andrew Joron

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pp. 234-248

Against infinity, saying something is the same as saying nothing. In mathematical terms, n divided by infinity equals zero. Caught between zero and infinity, the world and its saying can have only an accidental, arbitrary value. This, however, is the condition of freedom...

Bibliography

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pp. 249-264

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Contributors

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pp. 265-270

Dan Beachy-Quick is the author of five books of poetry, Circle’s Apprentice, North True South Bright, Spell, Mulberry, and This Nest, Swift Passerine; five chapbooks, Apology for the Book of Creatures, Overtakelesness, Heroisms, Canto, and Mobius Crowns (the latter two both written in collaboration with...

Index

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pp. 271-276