If I should die, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field That is for ever England. There shall be In that rich earth a richer dust concealed; A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam, A body of England
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Fred Sanford's on at 12 & I'm standing in the express lane (cash only) about to buy Head & Shoulders the white people shampoo, no one knows what I am. My name could be Lamont. George Clinton wears colors like Toucan Sam, the Froot Loop pelican. Follow your nose,
With roots in the Civil Rights Movement, Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam, and the Black Power Movement, Black Arts is usually dated from approximately 1960 to 1970. African American artists within the movement sought to create politically engaged work that explored the African American cultural and historical experience.
One of the most
It’s hard to believe that 2014 is John Berryman’s centenary, in part because his best work is of such consummate strangeness that it seems to exist outside the confines of any period or style, and almost outside literary and historical time altogether.
We think of Berryman’s fellow Middle Generation poets—Robert Lowell, Robert Hayden, Elizabeth Bishop, and Randall Jarrell, among others, all born between 1910 and 1920—as very much products of their era, who all, in various ways, forged poetic styles that seemed especially reflective of the culture, politics, and vernacular of mid-twentieth century America. Lowell and Hayden were above all poets of personal and public memory, witnesses to the turbulence of their times who were canny in their ability to intermingle the topical with the historical. Bishop and Jarrell strove to perfect a limpid version of the American idiom—what Marianne Moore famously called a plain American English that cats and dogs can understand—that was at
Robert Lowell’s poem “Epilogue” comes at “the end of a long sequence,” as he said to an audience in December 1976 during one of his last recorded readings before his death in 1977. His final book of poems, Day by Day, was published in the same month, and “Epilogue” concludes the title group of poems, written in free verse “in the blue period after sickness,” as he explained apologetically to Elizabeth Bishop, “when I felt I could [write] nothing else well.”
As so often with Lowell’s poems, “Epilogue” belies its plainspoken manner while also being true to it—not simply constructed, either in form (he mostly adheres to a four-beat line, with variations, and despite protestations is assisted by plot and rhyme) or in thought; and yet not dissembling either. The poem speaks of the limitations of his art. But the poem also recalls the classical recusatio (refusal), in which the speaker claims he is unable to write the kind of poem the occasion calls for.