By Ross Hair (auth.)
Using a severe exam of the university poetics of Ronald Johnson, this e-book units out to appreciate Johnson's poetry within the context of the "New American" university culture, stretching from Ezra Pound to Louis Zukofsky and past. also, the e-book assesses Johnson's paintings in terms of wider questions referring to literary chronologies, particularly the discontinuities as a rule visible to exist among nineteenth-century Romantic and twentieth-century modernist literary forms.
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Extra info for Ronald Johnson’s Modernist Collage Poetry, 1st Edition
It is an ideal that recalls the Transcendentalist desire to overcome “superficial seeing” and apprehend the world with innocent eyes, as Emerson proposes in Nature: To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child. The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood (N 38).
Microcosm and macrocosm mutually disclose one another without any suggestion of hierarchy. ” For example, in “BEAM 4” when Johnson proposes: Mind & Eye are logarithmic spiral coiled from periphery. This is called a ‘spiral sweep’—a biological form which combines (as do galaxies) economy with beauty. (We define ‘beauty’ from symmetrical perceptions): subjects observing a flickered pulsation of light have seen something like a Catherine-wheel reversing rotation, with a center of fine detail. , Catherine Wheels – of their worlds.
15 Indeed, it is hard to imagine Olson using the mannered archaic diction that Johnson employs (via Samuel Johnson) in “Lilac, Portals, Evocations”: ‘And where are you, Mr Johnson’? quoth the Matron, & I ‘I am, madame, here,’ I said, though it were much too simple a conviction for her, (V 71) Instead of evoking Olson’s “composition by field,” the refined, quaint diction that Johnson often employs in these poems is more akin to the cultivated gardens and pruned topiaries they describe than Olson’s open, “composition by field,” poetics.