Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Poetry December 1912

Just a few quick comments on the December issue.  Yeats has his Poetry debut, with very precise and depressing lyrics.  No time to wax on them, poetic or not--snatching this moment before running to class. 

The most interesting parts of this issue are for me are the contributions of Rabindranath Tagore, Pound's short editorial that accompanies it, and Alice Corbin's essay on Whitman and "Whitmanism." 

First, Tagore's own translations of his poetry are rendered in elegant prose poetry--I don't know much about Bengali, and would be curious to learn whether it is lineated.  They are beautifully parallel to the tenets of imagism--spare, relying on juxtaposition, etc.  Pound's essay on Tagore is extremely positive, and interesting: it claims that Bengali meters are better than the "most advanced artists in vers libre."  High praise.  I'm curious how this correlates to his brutal attacks on the Turks in The New Age--he appears to be a culturalist, rather than a white supremacist.  Not sure how this links to "Notes on the Present Kalpa" in that periodical, but I'm intrigued at how this piece doesn't follow the typical Imperial Modernism of British periodicals as described by Patrick Collier--don't have the article in front of me at the moment, but the articles he reviews never declare the east to be outright superior. 

Second, Alice Corbin Henderson's own poems and her editorial on Whitmanism.  Corbin repeats the myth that Poe was neglected by Americans--a myth that my esteemed fellow-panelist at MLA, Melissa Bradshaw, neatly exploded, though in the context of Amy Lowell.  Corbin's own poems in the issue don't seem to take up her own challenge to be more Whitmanic--they are more Walter (de la Mare) than Walt. 

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