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Book Title: Forms of Youth|
Edition: Columbia University Press
Date of issue: September 4th 2007
ISBN 13: 9780231141420
The author of the book: Stephen Burt
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 32.57 MB
Read full description of the books Forms of Youth:Early in the twentieth century, Americans and other English-speaking nations began to regard adolescence as a separate phase of life. Associated with uncertainty, inwardness, instability, and sexual energy, adolescence acquired its own tastes, habits, subcultures, slang, economic interests, and art forms. This new idea of adolescence became the driving force behind some of the modern era's most original poetry.
Stephen Burt demonstrates how adolescence supplied the inspiration, and at times the formal principles, on which many twentieth-century poets founded their works. William Carlos Williams and his contemporaries fashioned their American verse in response to the idealization of new kinds of youth in the 1910s and 1920s. W. H. Auden's early work, Philip Larkin's verse, Thom Gunn's transatlantic poetry, and Basil Bunting's late-modernist masterpiece, Briggflatts, all track the development of adolescence in Britain as it moved from the private space of elite schools to the urban public space of sixties subcultures. The diversity of American poetry from the Second World War to the end of the sixties illuminates poets' reactions to the idea that teenagers, juvenile delinquents, hippies, and student radicals might, for better or worse, transform the nation. George Oppen, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Robert Lowell in particular built and rebuilt their sixties styles in reaction to changing concepts of youth.
Contemporary poets continue to fashion new ideas of youth. Laura Kasischke and Jorie Graham focus on the discoveries of a specifically female adolescence. The Irish poet Paul Muldoon and the Australian poet John Tranter use teenage perspectives to represent a postmodernist uncertainty. Other poets have rejected traditional and modern ideas of adolescence, preferring instead to view this age as a reflection of the uncertainties and restricted tastes of the way we live now. The first comprehensive study of adolescence in twentieth-century poetry, The Forms of Youth recasts the history of how English-speaking cultures began to view this phase of life as a valuable state of consciousness, if not the very essence of a Western identity.
Read information about the author
I write books about poetry, essays on other people’s poems, books of my own poems, and shorter pieces about poems, poets, poetry, comics, science-fiction writers, political controversies, obscure pop groups, and the WNBA.
My published books are: Close Calls With Nonsense: Reading New Poetry (Graywolf, Spring 2009), The Forms of Youth: Adolescence and 20th Century Poetry (Columbia University Press, 2007), Parallel Play: Poems (Graywolf, 2006), Randall Jarrell on W. H. Auden (editor with Hannah Brooks-Motl, Columbia University Press, 2005), Randall Jarrell and His Age (Columbia University Press, 2002), and Popular Music: Poems (Center for Literary Publishing, 1999).
I am an Associate Professor of English at Harvard University. Prior to joining the faculty at Harvard, I spent several years at Macalester College, first as an Assistant Professor, then as an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of English. I received my Ph.D. in English from Yale University in 2000, my A.B. from Harvard in 1994.
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