Concept/Vocabulary List from Keller: A Summary in Fragments

All of the following are quotations or ideas from Keller’s “The Twentieth-Century Long Poem.”  Feel free to add, comment, annotate, question.

“desire to reclaim for poetry the range and significance it had ceded to the novel”

“reach beyond the inward perspective of the postromantic lyric to include sociological, anthropological and […] historical material”

“collage epics”

“lyric sequences”

“poetic meditations”

“continuous verse narratives”

“cinematic montage”

“musical form”

“Indeed, the lack of restrictive generic conventions is crucial to the identity and coherence of the long poem.”

fragmentation—coherence

“poem-as-process” can “incorporate private and public statement, individual self-construction and communal identity, social criticism and nationalistic celebration, epic breadth and lyric intensity”

Juxtaposition “without connective material”

“reinterpret inherited myths”

“symbolic patterns”

multivocality

“epistolary, dramatic, and essayistic forms”

“lines developing with apparent spontaneity in response to immediate apprehension and […] extended forms with no predetermined shape”

“the hero […] is in part the poet himself and in part a mythicized aggrandizement”

“didactic intellectual exploration”

quest

“lyrics can accumulate without any fixed end”

“diary or notebooklike forms”

“meditative, apolitical uses of the long poem to record acts of the mind”

“experimental vehicles”

“revived interest in narrative”

“incorporation of found documents”

“the tendency toward change essential to the American long poem’s paradoxical tradition of innovation”

“revisionary mythmaking”

“fusing its predominantly Anglo-American traditions with forms and languages distinct to particular minority cultures”

“arbitrary structuring systems” and “nondiscursive patterns”

“a liberating mixture of genres”

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