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American Poems: Book: The Origins of Free Verse
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The Origins of Free Verse

  • Author:H. T. Kirby-Smith
  • Publisher:University of Michigan Press
  • Category:Book
  • List Price: $26.95
  • Buy New: $22.24
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  • Seller:ImpactZero
  • Sales Rank:2,288,328
  • Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
  • Media:Paperback
  • Number Of Items:1
  • Pages:320
  • Shipping Weight (lbs):1.2
  • Dimensions (in):9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2
  • Publication Date:August 1, 1998
  • ISBN:0472085654
  • EAN:9780472085651
  • ASIN:0472085654
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Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis
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.

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