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By M. Dowdy

"In this learn, Dowdy uncovers and analyzes the first rhetorical options, really figures of voice, in American political poetry from the Vietnam War-era to the current. via advancing a theoretical version that foregrounds how poems enact politically-engaged voices, the e-book cuts throughout severe reviews geared up by means of identification class and subject material. Combining theories of organisation and cultural stories, this Read more...

summary: "In this examine, Dowdy uncovers and analyzes the first rhetorical techniques, fairly figures of voice, in American political poetry from the Vietnam War-era to the current. by way of advancing a theoretical version that foregrounds how poems enact politically-engaged voices, the e-book cuts throughout serious stories geared up by means of id class and material. Combining theories of business enterprise and cultural experiences, this accomplished account of latest American verse makes use of shut readings of canonical and lesser identified poets, bilingual poets, and hip-hop artists so as to chart American poetry's distinct voices. This ebook may be integral to these drawn to twentieth-century poetry, poetics, hip-hop tradition, literature and politics, cultural reviews, and African-American and Latina/o cultures."--Jacket

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These poems, moreover, often articulate utopian or dystopian visions that depart from identifiable contexts, speakers, and human presence, thereby asserting the primary agency of the imagination. These poems suggest that persuasion and the representation of realistic lived experience are unnecessary for political poetry, while their eerie, parodic, and prophetic voices are able to make more global claims than poems of experience can. Poems such as Simic’s “Cameo Appearance,” as well as poems from Merwin’s The Lice and Forché’s The Angel of History, as well as others by Harjo, Sherman Alexie, Charles Wright, and Marcos McPeek Villatoro rely not on first-person speakers poeticizing personal experience, but on transpersonal experiences of loss and oppression, often 28 AMERICAN POLITICAL POETRY evoked via multiple voices, discontinuous sequencing, and staged voices (often composite, ironic, or parodic).

My first consideration is the distinctive rhetorical strategies and figures of voice that characterize political poems. Categorizing strategies of political poetry makes rhetorical strategy primary. The categories depart from previous formulations of political poetry in that they foreground the uses of language in poems—figures of voice, kinds of narrative trajectory, types of “evidence,” tones of authority, and the types of images and rhetorical figures. I set out to see how poems act politically.

Most of the hip-hop artists I discuss are independent artists, iconic figures in the culture, or politically resonant ones. My choices generally align with my aesthetic preferences and knowledge base, and my approach in this book allows 20 AMERICAN POLITICAL POETRY for a tangible sacrifice in depth—of a specific poet or hip-hop artist, specific “school” of poetry, or a defined period of literary history—for breadth. My framework for reading contemporary political poetry is twofold. My first consideration is the distinctive rhetorical strategies and figures of voice that characterize political poems.

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