Fiction Books:

The Origins of Free Verse

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Paperback

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The Origins of Free Verse by H.T. Kirby-Smith
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Description

H. T. Kirby-Smith offers a far-ranging and intellectually engaging study of the literary history of the debated genre of free verse, aimed not at perpetuating a particular dispute but instead at discovering the generative points of this often celebrated, often maligned form. Though free verse became a dominant poetic mode only in the twentieth century, Kirby-Smith finds its roots in seventeenth-century England. Beginning his study with writers such as John Milton--who was considered by T. S. Eliot to be the greatest writer of free verse in English--the author places recent and divisive topics in poetics in context, showing them to be attenuated remnants of issues first broached hundreds of years ago. The book seeks to establish a consensus on the nature of free verse, with reference to critics and poets including Pound, Eliot, Williams, Amy Lowell, Yvor Winters, and Hugh Kenner. Good free verse, argues Kirby-Smith, arises as a reaction to a well-established set of conventions. Likewise, The Origins of Free Verse goes against the conventions of existing poetic scholarship, offering an encompassing yet fresh--and controversial--literary history of free verse. "At moments, this study is revelatory. . . . In its range and detail it offers a way of thinking about the history of English-language prosody which recognizes the importance of the poet's individual choices and undercuts our century's vanity. . . . Poetry is a learned art, and Kirby-Smith brings both insight and much learning to reading it." --Times Literary Supplement "The best study of free verse I have seen. . . . The Origins of Free Verse is a book that all students of prosody will want to read. " --Harvard Review ." . . a witty and polemical account of the emergence and development of free verse." --Choice H. T. Kirby-Smith is Professor of English, University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Release date NZ
June 30th, 1998
Country of Publication
United States
Imprint
The University of Michigan Press
Pages
320
Dimensions
152x229x26
ISBN-13
9780472085651
Product ID
2062362

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