Article

Naturalism and Poetry

Chris Beyers

in The Oxford Handbook of American Literary Naturalism

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780195368932
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195368932.013.0026

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Naturalism and Poetry

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This article focuses on the relationship between naturalism and poetry. The main intellectual trends of twentieth-century poetry are inimical to a naturalist verse tradition. On the other hand, nothing in the generally assumed definition disqualifies poetry from the genre. Regarding naturalist poetry in terms of genre, a rather clear narrative comes into view: naturalist poets began by critiquing convention, as naturalist novelists did, and went on to adopt modernist techniques to reflect the changing notion of what constitutes reality. Common to all is an enduring strain exploring the severe restraints on human possibility. The poetry of Stephen Crane, Carl Sandburg, Edgar Lee Masters, Theodore Dreiser, Robinson Jeffers, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, and Sharon Olds are analyzed.

Keywords: naturalist poetry; literary naturalism; Stephen Crane; Carl Sandburg; Edgar Lee Masters; Theodore Dreiser; Robinson Jeffers; Robert Lowell; Sylvia Plath; Sharon Olds

Article.  8466 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers) ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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