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Secular Lyric
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Secular Lyric: The Modernization of the Poem in Poe, Whitman, and Dickinson

John Michael

Abstract

Secular Lyrics interrogates the distinctively individual ways that Poe, Whitman, and Dickinson adapt ancient and renaissance conventions of lyric expression to the developing conditions of their modern context, especially to the heterogeneity of beliefs and believers in a secular society and to the altered or emergent role that literature assumes in a secular age. These poets, in idiosyncratic but related ways, register the pressures of the modern crowd—which Benjamin rightly identified as nineteenth-century poetry’s essential topic—within their poems, where the mass appears as potential reade ... More

Keywords: Dickinson, figural language, lyric, modernism, Poe, Whitman

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780823279715
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2018 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823279715.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Michael, author
University of Rochester