Poetry and the Age
by RANDALL JARRELL
$24.95 List Price
Poetry has been obscure as long as Vikings have worn helmets and emperors have worn nothing. This is not terribly surprising. Poetry is language refracted, metaphor tuned to an inner music. And ever since the nineteenth century, when the novel brought reading to the masses, most of us have preferred to read prose. Still, every few generations, a shiver of anxiety ripples through the literate world that poetry has become too obscure—that it has retreated to its palace yard, content to be fanned by courtesans and eunuchs. In rush the diplomats, armed with arguments and lances, determined to coax poetry back into the public sphereto redefine its role, so it can speak to us all, or at least a greater few.
We are living at the apex of one of these moments. Every few months, the National Endowment for the Something
… full text available to registered users