At the Barriers: on the Poetry of Thom Gunn by Joshua Weiner

By Joshua Weiner

Maverick homosexual poetic icon Thom Gunn (1929–2004) and his physique of labor have lengthy dared the British and American poetry establishments either to claim or disavow him. To critics within the united kingdom and US alike, Gunn proven that formal poetry may possibly effectively comprise new speech rhythms and open varieties and that experimental types may well nonetheless preserve technical and highbrow rigor. alongside the way in which, Gunn’s verse captured the social upheavals of the Nineteen Sixties, the existential chances of the overdue 20th century, and the tumult of post-Stonewall homosexual culture.            the 1st book-length learn of this significant poet, on the obstacles surveys Gunn’s occupation from his adolescence in Nineteen Thirties Britain to his ultimate years in California, from his earliest guides to his later unpublished notebooks, bringing jointly the most vital poet-critics from each side of the Atlantic to evaluate his oeuvre. This landmark quantity strains how Gunn, in either his existence and his writings, driven at barriers of alternative forms, be they geographic, sexual, or poetic. on the limitations will solidify Gunn’s rightful position within the pantheon of Anglo-American letters.      

Show description

Read or Download At the Barriers: on the Poetry of Thom Gunn PDF

Similar poetry books

Gone (New California Poetry, Volume 7)

This choice of new poems through essentially the most revered poets within the usa makes use of motifs of develop and restoration, doubt and conviction—in an emotional relation to the identified global. Heralded as "one of our most important, unclassifiable writers" by way of the Voice Literary complement, Fanny Howe has released greater than twenty books and is the recipient of the Gold Medal for Poetry from the Commonwealth membership of California.

Seven Notebooks: Poems

An ant to the celebrities
or stars to the ant--which is
extra irrelevant?

Weekend Jet Skiers--
impolite to name them idiots,
definite, yet evidence are facts.

Clamor of seabirds
because the sunlight falls--I search for
and ten years have handed. "
--from "Dawn Notebook"

Such is the expansive terrain of 7 Notebooks: the realm because it is visible, recognized, imagined, and dreamed; our lives as they're felt, inspiration, wanted, and lived. Written in types that variety from haiku to prose, and in a voice that veers from incanta­tory to deadpan, those seven poetic sequences provide varied reflections on language and poetry, time and cognizance, civilization and art--to say not anything of bureaucrats, surfboards, and blue margaritas. Taken jointly, Seven Notebooks composes a season-by-season account of a yr within the lifetime of its narrator, from spring in Chicago to summer time on the Jersey Shore to wintry weather in Miami seashore. no longer a singular in verse, no longer a poetic magazine, yet a lyric chronicle, this completely designated e-book reclaims territory lengthy deserted through American poetry, a attribute ambition of Campbell McGrath, probably the most commemorated, available, and humanistically engaged writers of our time.

Traveler: Poems

The poems in Devin Johnston's tourist move nice distances, from the crimson Hills of Kansas to the tough Bounds of the Scottish Highlands, following climate styles, fowl migrations, and ocean voyages. much less actually, those poems go through translations and protean adjustments. Their topics are usually subsequent to not anything in numerous senses: cloud shadows racing throughout a valley ahead of nightfall, the predawn expectation of a child's delivery, or the static-electric cost of garments textile.

Todos los poemas (1975-2012)

Si tuviéramos que designar un heredero de los angeles poesía clara y difícil de Salvador Espriu y de l. a. poesía bondadosa e intensa de Miquel Martí i Pol, Joan Margarit sería, sin duda, el elegido. l. a. dureza y, al mismo tiempo, los angeles ternura del refugio contra los angeles intemperie que es su extensa y reconocida obra poética lo sitúan entre los poetas catalanes más valorados por los angeles crítica y los lectores.

Extra resources for At the Barriers: on the Poetry of Thom Gunn

Sample text

The National Serviceman who gives his name to “Lofty in the Palais de Danse” is an altogether simpler creature whose lumpen demotic explains Gunn’s preference at this time for classical or literary contexts: You praise my strength. The muscle on my arm. Yes. Now the other. Yes, about the same. I’ve got another muscle you can feel. Dare say you knew. 20 I dare say we knew too, but in retrospect we can see that these lines aren’t just ludicrously crass: they are also wrongly gendered. In other words, while “I’ve got another muscle you can feel” is a terrible and improbable chat-up line for a 1950s boy to try on a 1950s girl, it becomes far more probable (if not much less terrible) if spoken between two gay men.

Do they above love to be loved, and yet Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess? 34 Philip Sidney addresses the moon directly and asks it a number of increasingly urgent questions, whereas Gunn’s speaker meditates upon the moon, but the tone is unmistakably similar: so much so that the Gunn poem, which seems a little strained at first glance, reads much more naturally after the Sidney. ” For Sidney, the questioning form admits the slender possibility of a world in which love doesn’t inescapably lead to unhappiness; for Gunn, love is by definition hellish, because it is possessive, and the vision of the moon offers only confirmation, not consolation.

But in subsequent books, Gunn begins moving toward informal diction, less exacting meter, and a preference for daily experience as opposed to literary allusion. I believe it’s also true that his use of existentialism began to recede in importance for him, in part because Sartre’s prestige began to decline around 1960.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.77 of 5 – based on 31 votes