Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Meet the new neo-, same as the old neo-?

Today's post takes note of a trend which began "a theoretical and practical revolt against the dominance and 'poeticalness'" of earlier generations; for adherents of this movement, "a poem presented a kaleidoscope of broken pieces from the historical world, as perceived in the psyche of a sophisticated urban individual and as expressed in a unique rhythmical 'fugue.' Theirs was a post-Symbolist poetics, stressing free-verse, open thematics and language, and an end to the poetic ivory tower.... [They] developed a rather Anglo-American poetics of irony, dramatized and objectified poetic situations and intellectual understatement; they formed a much more mature, antisentimental, and honestly harsh view of the real world."

-- Description of the American "Introspectivist" poets who wrote in Yiddish, whose movement was launched in 1919; quoted from Benjamin Harshav, The Polyphony of Jewish Culture, pp.91-92.

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