By Jahan Ramazani
Poetry is usually 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 warfare II North the USA and the North Atlantic; and in ethnic American, postcolonial, and black British writing. Cross-cultural trade and impression are, he argues, one of the leader engines of poetic improvement within the 20th- and twenty-first centuries. Reexamining the paintings of a wide range of poets, from Eliot, Yeats, and Langston Hughes to Elizabeth Bishop, Lorna Goodison, and Agha Shahid Ali, Ramazani finds the numerous ways that smooth and modern poetry in English overflows nationwide borders and exceeds the scope of nationwide literary paradigms. via various transnational templates—globalization, migration, trip, style, impression, modernity, decolonization, and diaspora—he discovers poetic connection and discussion throughout countries or even hemispheres. quite wide-ranging in scope but conscientiously thinking 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 worldwide situation.
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10 Further thwarting mononational narratives were the proliferation of geography-traversing technologies such as the telephone, cinema, and radio; the increasing ease of travel by ship and by air; the massive 26 chapter two migration of black North Americans from the rural South to the urban North; the circulation of avant-garde art and translations among European and North American cities; the rapid global movement of capital; the researches of globe-trotting anthropologists; the dramatic expansion of the British Empire across a quarter of the land’s surface by World War I; the emergence at the same time of the United States as a new political and economic world power.
34 Poetry is a means of geographic and temporal travel, he suggests in “Sailing to Byzantium,” and in “Lapis Lazuli,” he intercuts Renaissance England, modern Europe, ancient Greece, and China. Yeats and Mina Loy are generally thought of as having almost nothing in common—Yeats as a monolithically canonical Irishman, Loy as a recent entrant into a more experimental Anglo-American countercanon. But just as a transnational poetics can provide a unifying ground for poets as seemingly unlike as McKay and Eliot, Yeats’s violent ambivalences toward his Irish and English inheritances, in a poem such as “Easter, 1916,” can be compared with Loy’s fractured identiﬁcations; his cross-national and cross-cultural interstitiality, with hers.
64 Borrowing the astronaut’s literally cosmopolitan perspective, his awareness through having temporarily left the world that he is a citizen of its global locality, the poet—aided by the split consciousness of poetry as a densely metaphoric and defamiliarizing genre—views the world from afar as his ﬁnite and fragile home. In the tradition of lyric self-reﬂexivity, he traces himself back through the multiple languages—English, Latin, Irish—that are the origins, the ground, as it were, from which his poetry has sprung.
A Transnational Poetics by Jahan Ramazani