By Jahan Ramazani
Poetry is frequently seen as culturally homogeneous—“stubbornly national,” in T. S. Eliot’s word, or “the such a lot provincial of the arts,” in line with W. H. Auden. yet in A Transnational Poetics, Jahan Ramazani uncovers the ocean-straddling energies of the poetic imagination—in modernism and the Harlem Renaissance; in post–World battle II North the United States and the North Atlantic; and in ethnic American, postcolonial, and black British writing. Cross-cultural trade and impact are, he argues, one of the leader engines of poetic improvement within the 20th- and twenty-first centuries. Reexamining the paintings of a big selection of poets, from Eliot, Yeats, and Langston Hughes to Elizabeth Bishop, Lorna Goodison, and Agha Shahid Ali, Ramazani finds the various ways that glossy and modern poetry in English overflows nationwide borders and exceeds the scope of nationwide literary paradigms. via a number of transnational templates—globalization, migration, shuttle, style, effect, modernity, decolonization, and diaspora—he discovers poetic connection and discussion throughout international locations or even hemispheres. enormously wide-ranging in scope but carefully fascinated about details, A Transnational Poetics demonstrates how poetic research can foster an aesthetically attuned transnational literary feedback that's even as alert to modernity’s international situation.
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Louis,” “fundamentally American,” “quintessentially American,” “distinctively American,” “very American grain,” and “solidly American” risk draining modernism of its cross-national complexity. 28 chapter two The modernism Crawford sees as “essentially provincial” (270) is instead profoundly cross-cultural, translocal, and transnational. Pound’s and Eliot’s achievements are incomprehensible without taking seriously the global reach of a modernism that, polyglot and jaggedly transcultural, interweaves Euro-classicism and Chinese ideograms, cockney gossip and Sanskrit parable, Confucius and Thomas Jefferson, the thunderous God of the Hebrew Bible and a Brahmin creator god.
S. Eliot’s “un-Englishness” and thus “persistent American-ness” (220). He traces Eliot’s literary roots to the “very American” writer Henry James and, before him, to Walt Whitman (226), eclipsing such English precursors as the metaphysical poets and the English Romantics. Indications of a more ambiguous cultural identity are converted into their opposite: Eliot’s concept of “the mind of Europe” exhibits a “quintessentially American” longing for European identity; as for Eliot’s declaration of his classicism, royalism, and Anglo- Catholicism, “no normal Englishman would have made such a public declaration, for England is a country in which individuals, like governments, prefer to avoid a written constitution” (232).
Though Claude McKay is usually assimilated into narratives of the Harlem Renaissance as the author of a book that partly helped inaugurate it, Harlem Shadows (1922), he wrote his ﬁrst two books in Jamaican English before emigrating to the United States; he then spent over a decade (1919–21, 1923–33) in Europe, the Soviet Union, and North Africa, barred from the United States and the British colonies after his enthusiastic 1923 Soviet trip;23 in 1934 he ﬁnally returned to the United States and in 1940 became an American citizen; still later, he was posthumously claimed as a national poet of Jamaica.