Criticism Theory

Download Bliss Carman: A Reappraisal by Gerald Lynch PDF

By Gerald Lynch

The tarnished acceptance of this turn-of-the-century poet is persuasively burnished anew through fifteen students, editors, and poets.

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Extra resources for Bliss Carman: A Reappraisal

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We might end by examining one of his simpler, if still memorable, poems, "Love, by that loosened hair," presumably inspired by Seaborn, Jessie Kappeler. It is simple in that it is another list or lover's catalogue and enumerates only three features in three symmetrical stanzas, the symmetry reinforced by the use of anaphora. Love, by that loosened hair, Well now I know Where the lost Lilith went So long ago. Love, by those starry eyes I understand How the sea maidens lure Mortals from land. 39 Love, by that welling laugh Joy claims its own Sea-born and wind-wayward Child of the sun.

Visiting the Soviet Union in 1976, I came across a Russian edition of MacDonald in a Moscow bookstore—and expostulated mildly to my hosts. Still later, when they translated some of my own stuff there, I wondered if they'd compared me to MacDonald and Joe Wallace—the latter also Russianpublished. Reverting back to the mid-1930s, I was playing football at high school and enjoying the twin status of poet and athlete (I was a lousy football player, too), reading novels concealed inside textbook covers in class.

It seems Carman had a mistress named Mary Perry King. She lived with her husband in New Canaan; Carman too lived, rather fortuitously, in the same small town. And each of these three must have made generous allowances for the other two. Carman used to walk to his mistress's house every morning. And Doctor King walked to work as well, at the same time and on the same street. They would pass each other on opposite sides, each with different objectives. Carman's personal objective need not be explored further.

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