Toward the Open Field
Poets on the Art of Poetry 1800-1950
Wesleyan Poetry Series
Sales Date: 2004-06-24
368 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
The historical writings that helped shape our current understandings of poetry.
Toward the Open Field brings together many of the great prose pieces—essays, letters, declarations, defenses, manifestos, and apologia—by the most influential European and American poets from the Romantics to the Symbolists, Surrealists, and Moderns. Hitherto uncollected and all in English, the work in this anthology follows the changing notions of what a poem is, what a poet is, and why we read a poem, tracing the development of stylistic and ideological strategies that have spawned our current, conflicting understandings of verse.
The book begins with Wordsworth's 1802 "Preface" to the Lyrical Ballads and proceeds through 150 years of English language tradition, including the European poetries which greatly influenced it. These prose works allow the reader to share one of the great extended conversations by poets about poetry during a dynamic period of literary experimentation.
Includes work by Charles Baudelaire, André Breton, Aimé Césaire, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Emily Dickinson, T.S. Eliot, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Langston Hughes, John Keats, Federico Garcia Lorca, Mina Loy, Stéphane Mallarmé, Marianne Moore, Charles Olson, Ezra Pound, Arthur Rimbaud, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, Paul Valéry, Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, William Wordsworth and Louis Zukofsky.
William Wordsworth – "Preface" to the second edition of Lyrical Ballads
Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Chapter 14, Biographia Literaria
"On Poesie and Art"
John Keats – Selected Letters
Percy Bysshe Shelley – "A Defense of Poetry"
Ralph Waldo Emerson – "The Poet"
Walt Whitman – "Preface" to the first edition of Leaves of Grass
Emily Dickinson – "Letters to Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Gerard Manley Hopkins – "Author's Preface"
Charles Baudelaire – The Painter of Modern Life, Parts I-IV
Arthur Rimbaud – The "Voyant" Letter
Stéphan Mallarmé – "Crisis in Verse"
André Breton – Manifesto of Surrealism
Federico Garcia Lorca – "Theory and Function of the Duende"
Paul Valéry – "Poetry of Abstract Thought"
Aimé Césaire – "Poetry and Knowledge"
Ezra Pound – "A Retrospect"
T.S. Elliot – "Tradition and the Individual Talent"
Mina Loy – "Modern Poetry"
Langston Highes – "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain"
Louis Zukofsky – "An Objective"
Gertrude Stein – "Poetry and Grammar"
Wallace Stevens – "The Noble Rider and the Sound of Words"
Marianne Moore – "Feeling and Precision"
William Carlos Williams – "Author's Introduction," The Wedge
Charles Olson – "Projective Verse"
"Poet and novelist Melissa Kwasny brings together prose pieces—essays, letters, declarations, defenses, manifestos, and apologia—by many influential European and American poets. The anthology pieces follows changing notions of what a poem is, what a poet is, why we read a poem, and the development of stylistic and ideological strategies in verse."~Poets & Writers
"We know what happened when the Shelleys met by candlelight one summer to tell stories, and now imagine wind has blown the doors open again to welcome twenty-five immortals to Villa Diodati, poets who will guide us through corridors, from romanticism to modernism, to leave us in the basement where cultures of postmodernism grow. A marvelous congery of voices."~Sandra Alcosser, author of Except by Nature
"Finally, everything I have up to now been forced to Fac Pac, put on reserve for my poetry workshops, or resign myself to merely quoting from is here in one place!"~Patricia Goedicke, Professor of English and Creative Writing, University of Montana