Aberration in Modern Poetry

Essays on Atypical Works by Yeats, Auden, Moore, Heaney and Others


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About the Book

This critical work considers the role played by elements that might be considered aberrational in a poet’s oeuvre. With an introductory essay exploring the nature of aberration, these fourteen contributions investigate the work of major 20th-century poets from the U.S., Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Aberration is considered from the standpoint of both the artist and the audience, prompting discussion on a range of important issues, including the formation of the canon. Each essay discusses the status of the aberrant work and the ways in which it challenges, enlarges or supports the overall perception of the poet.

About the Author(s)

Lucy Collins is a lecturer at the School of English, Drama & Film at University College, Dublin. She has published widely on modern and contemporary poetry, with a special emphasis on women’s poetry and on ecocriticism.
Stephen Matterson is associate professor of English Studies at Trinity College, University of Dublin. He specializes in American literature with particular interests in poetry and in the work of Herman Melville.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Lucy Collins and Stephen Matterson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 254
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6295-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8901-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v
Preface      1
Introduction: “I learn by going where I have to go”

Omission and Aberration in Marianne Moore’s Poetry CRISTANNE MILLER      19
W.H. Auden’s Detours STEPHEN MATTERSON      36
“Coming up England by a different line”: Philip Larkin and Louis MacNeice STEPHEN REGAN      49
Participation without Belonging: Apostrophe and Aberration in Seamus Heaney’s North SCOTT BREWSTER      63
Another Side of Paul Muldoon: The Poet as Lyricist MARIA JOHNSTON      77
That “Saving Ray of Strangeness”: The Late Poems of George Oppen PETER NICHOLLS      95
The One Continuous Line: Louise Glück and the Necessity of Writing LUCY COLLINS      110
“By Writing and Example”: James K. Baxter’s Long- Haired Romanticism JOHN NEWTON      126
X/Self: Kamau Brathwaite at the Crossroads LEE M. JENKINS      144
Unsettling Language: л.o.’s 24 Hours PHILIP MEAD      161
Face to Face with Clumsiness: Aberration, Errancy and W.B. Yeats JEFFERSON HOLDRIDGE      178
Hartnett’s Farewell PAUL DURCAN      193
Time to Send Home the Troops? CAROL RUMENS      214
Cézanne’s Bathers HARRY CLIFTON      226

About the Contributors      231
Index      233