The Poetics of the Everyday: Creative Repetition in Modern American Verse

Kobo ebook | June 1, 2010

bySiobhan Phillips

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Wallace Stevens once described the "malady of the quotidian," lamenting the dull weight of everyday regimen. Yet he would later hail "that which is always beginning, over and over"& mdash;recognizing, if not celebrating, the possibility of fresh invention. Focusing on the poems of Wallace Stevens, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, and James Merrill, Siobhan Phillips positions everyday time as a vital category in modernist aesthetics, American literature, and poetic theory. She eloquently reveals how, through particular but related means, each of these poets converts the necessity of quotidian experience into an aesthetic and experiential opportunity. In Stevens, Phillips analyzes the implications of cyclic dualism. In Frost, she explains the theoretical depth of a habitual "middle way." In Bishop's work, she identifies the attempt to turn recurrent mornings into a "ceremony" rather than a sentence, and in Merrill, she shows how cosmic theories rely on daily habits. Phillips ultimately demonstrates that a poetics of everyday time contributes not only to a richer understanding of these four writers but also to descriptions of their era, estimations of their genre, and ongoing reconfigurations of the issues that literature reflects and illuminates.

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Wallace Stevens once described the "malady of the quotidian," lamenting the dull weight of everyday regimen. Yet he would later hail "that which is always beginning, over and over"& mdash;recognizing, if not celebrating, the possibility of fresh invention. Focusing on the poems of Wallace Stevens, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, and Ja...

Siobhan Phillips earned her Ph.D. at Yale University and is a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows. Her writing has appeared in PMLA, Prospect, and Hudson Review.
Format:Kobo ebookPublished:June 1, 2010Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231520298

ISBN - 13:9780231520294

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Poetics of Everyday Time
1. The Middle Living of Robert Frost
2. The Faithful Mode of Wallace Stevens
3. The Everyday Elegies of Elizabeth Bishop
4. The Cosmic Dawnings of James Merrill
Conclusion: Everyday Pasts and Everyday Futures
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

A compelling study of the function of "everyday time" in the works of Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, and James Merril... Recommended.