:fire: Modern and Contemporary American Poetry :fire: ("…
Modern and Contemporary
Williams Carlos Williams
W.C.W is often defined by his imagist work. His poems are often short as the goal of imagism is to present a clear image and not to waste any words by not contributing directly. Such as in "Self-Portrait" where he describes his outfit, "red winter hat", his physical trait, "blue eyes smiling...face slightly tiled", but not much else. (Pictures from Brueghel 3)
Called the "Founder" of Imagism; established "rules" such as the subject of the poem should be direct, for example: "The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter" is a letter from the perspective of a river merchant's wife. Not only is the "image" of the subject clear here, but her intentions are also clear, in that she has reflected on her life and with her husband and only longs to continue it and see him again.
The Book of the Dead
paints a picture of the American landscape that exists in both urban/rural settings. This landscape is then subjected to capitalist systems, through the means of industrialized companies ("Union Carbide & Carbon Co.") who exploit manual labor.
Written in response to the 2016 presidential election, this poem is also politically charged and the speaker often directs at pseudonyms of Donald Trump (e.g. "Trumpet").
American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
reflect on his position as not just a black male, but a black poet in American society. He defines what makes an American sonnet ("part prison/ Part panic closet", p.11), but also demonstrates this through the inclusion of American injustices such as gun violence, slavery, and racial slurs.
is critical of American institutions and its oppressive systems– "better the way non-white people are better than white people because they aren't allowed to write the oppressive laws they live under or order the police into their neighborhoods" (p. 1)
Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric
was written to reflect on the broken lives of individuals under American institutions (during the Bush administration). She links sadness to racial violence and the "throes of our American optimism" (p. 21).
Leaves of Grass
, Whitman emphasizes the natural beauty of America, combining the freedom of the outdoors to both the concept of freedom in American ideology and the individual's sense of freedom.
Feminism & Identity
combines confessional writing and feminine identity and establishes a series of poems that resemble part-will and part-diary of a young girl.
One of her more well-known poems, called
, uses comedic and satirical elements to comment of a man and women in a loveless/sexless marriage, for example the exclamation of "Unhelpful Hymen!" (p. 65).
Many of Sylvia Plath's works create imagery in regard to women's bodies and self-identity. For example, the poem
involves a female speaker who turns her death into a show for men– "a big strip tease...Out of the ash/ I rise with my red hair/ And I eat men like air." (p. 7-9)
Dickinson's poems often lack a title or an explicit subject to work as a center for poems. The poems exist in a "decentered universe".
Through the ekphrastic mobility in "Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror", the speaker is left decentered. It moves between the painter Parmigianino, to Vasari, to the reflection of the painting itself with seemingly no transition.
Myung Mi Kim
is decentered through the abstraction of subjects of war, disease, and language. Sentences are short and the subject is unclear: "Mapping needles. Minerals and gems. Furs and lumber." (pg. 4)
The "Objects" in
are fragmented in a way that is similar to the work of cubist still-life. Stein takes an object, or a whole, and breaks it down into isolated fragments that are individually abstract but still part of the original object.
observes the concept of blue in various word fragments, from "bluet" to bullet" to simply "blue". The color blue exists as fragments of her memories such as the blue tarp during an explicit sexual experience (Bluets 18). In this case, this form of blue exemplifies the fragment as fetish and as decay.
Fragmentation in this poem is also achieved through changes between paragraphs such as a numerical or alphabetical label, font change, and font size change.
deals with both the fragmentation of time and of perspective. The first section of the prose is from the "future", where the present speaker is looking at a picture of a girl in a torn up dress. The prose from here on then breaks into the perspective of the humanimal girl(s) and also to the man who finds them. There is a progressive narrative when the fragments between the 3 speakers/times are put together.
During one of his readings of
Mackey was accompanied by an improvised musician. The improvised nature of the readings, together with the musical language incorporated in the book itself, create a performance in the more traditional sense.
The subject matter of
is also a performance in that each individual poem as the citizens of "Quag" (the section titles) are representative of real events that caused devastation to groups of Africans. It is in this way that the poems are a performance of real events.
Tommy Pico's readings of his poem
are nothing short of a performance– he emphasizes facial expressions and body language, shifts voices and tones, and even sings!
However, his work is also reflective of what are known as "restored behaviors" in performative studies. Restored behaviors are symbolic actions or knowledge that can be transmitted to others, and are used to study the performances of other cultures. In between the seemingly normal behaviors he performs on a daily basis he presents restored behaviors of his Native American experience, such as "Each of them a kind of suicide that we don't talk about as suicide because we're NDN and who's listening Ppl driving drunk or huffing paint..." (Pico p. 6)
Attached to or allegiance to the traditions, institutions, and ideals of the United states