The All-Sustaining Air: Romantic Legacies and Renewals in British, American, and Irish Poetry since 1900 by Michael O'neillThe All-Sustaining Air: Romantic Legacies and Renewals in British, American, and Irish Poetry since 1900 by Michael O'neill

The All-Sustaining Air: Romantic Legacies and Renewals in British, American, and Irish Poetry since…

byMichael O'neill

Paperback | December 8, 2012

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Drawn from Shelley's Prometheus Unbound, the title of this book suggests the cultural and literary persistence of the Romantic in the work of many British, American, and Irish poets since 1900. Allowing for and celebrating the multiple, even fractured nature of Romantic legacies, MichaelO'Neill focuses on the creative impact of Romantic poetry on twentieth- and twenty-first century poetry. Individual chapters embrace numerous authors and texts, and span different cultures; the intention is not the forlorn hope of completeness, but the wish to open up possibilities andintersections, and there is a strong sense throughout of poetry serving as a subtle and profound form of literary criticism. A wide-ranging introduction analyses the persistence of the Romantic in poets such as Ted Hughes, Wilfred Owen, Robert Frost, Denise Levertov, Robert Lowell, and others, and sets the scene for subsequent discussions. Chapter 1 dwells on images of 'air', using these to understand the efforts of anumber of twentieth-century poets to 'sustain' Romanticism, or forms of it. Chapters 2 and 3 focus on Yeats and Eliot, respectively, the latter apparently shunning the Romantic, the former seeming to embrace it, but both responding with subtlety and individuality to the Romantic bequest. Chapter 4argues that Wallace Stevens's 'Esthetique du Mal' should be read as a work that illuminates the writings of the major Romantics, especially about evil and suffering. Chapter 5 discusses the work of W. H. Auden and Stephen Spender, exploring the complex response of both poets to the Romantic, Audencomplicated in his post-Romantic attitudes, Spender daring in his attempts to renew a Romantic lyricism in a post-Romantic age. Chapter 6 returns to a broader sweep as it investigates the response of a range of contemporary poets from Northern Ireland, including Heaney, Kavanagh, Mahon, and Carson, to Romantic poetry. Chapter 7 sustains the Irish connection, discussing Paul Muldoon's dealings with Byron and other Romantics,especially in Madoc. And Chapter 8 focuses on Geoffrey's Hill's tense and tensed relations with Romantic poetry, and on Roy Fisher's sense of being a 'gutted Romantic', in order to illustrate two diverse ways of being post-Romantic in contemporary culture.
Michael O'Neill is Professor of English at Durham University. He has published books, chapters, and articles on many aspects of Romantic literature, especially the work of Percy Bysshe Shelley, and on an array of British, Irish, and American twentieth- and twenty-first century poets. He received the Eric Gregory Award in 1983 for his ...
Title:The All-Sustaining Air: Romantic Legacies and Renewals in British, American, and Irish Poetry since…Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pagesPublished:December 8, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199653054

ISBN - 13:9780199653058


Table of Contents

Introduction: 'Original Response'1. 'The All-Sustaining Air': Variations on a Romantic Metaphor2. 'A Vision of Reality': Mid-to-Late Yeats3. 'Dialectic Ways': T. S. Eliot and Counter-Romanticism4. 'The Guts of the Living': Auden and Spender in the 1930s5. 'The Death of Satan': Stevens's `Esthetique du Mal', Evil, and the Romantic Imagination6. 'Shining in Modest Glory': Post-Romantic Strains in Kavanagh, Heaney, Mahon, and Carson7. : 'Just Another Twist in the Plot': Paul Muldoon's Madoc8. 'Deep Shocks of Recognition' and 'Gutted' Romanticism: Geoffrey Hill and Roy Fisher

Editorial Reviews

"Air, but never hot air, is everywhere in this cleverly written, eloquent book that is so aware of word-play and the cosmos of echoes." --Guy Cuthbertson, Keats-Shelley Review