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How Did Poetry Survive?The Making of Modern American Verse$
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John Timberman Newcomb

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036798

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036798.001.0001

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American Poetry on the Brink, 1905–12

American Poetry on the Brink, 1905–12

(p.9) Chapter 1 American Poetry on the Brink, 1905–12
How Did Poetry Survive?

John Timberman Newcomb

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the crisis in American poetry during the period 1905–1912. Between 1900 and 1905, poetry in the United States was perceived to be in precipitous decline, and many questioned its very survival. No one assumed sustained responsibility for the publicizing and reviewing of new books of verse, the identification of emerging poets and trends, or the preservation of periodical verses past their immediate moment of publication. Aspiring poets felt isolated and useless, actively discouraged from writing for anyone except their own closeted muses. This chapter first provides an overview of the status of American poetry in the years before 1912 before discussing how its fortunes changed after October 1912, a period which saw the explosion of creative and institutional activity in a wide variety of venues such as the so-called “little magazines.” Examples of these little magazines are Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, The Masses, Others, and Seven Arts.

Keywords:   little magazines, American poetry, Poetry, Masses, Others, Seven Arts, poets

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