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Lyric as Comedy – The Poetics of Abjection in Postwar America - Cornell Scholarship Online
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Lyric as Comedy: The Poetics of Abjection in Postwar America

Calista McRae


A poet walks into a bar... this book explores the unexpected comic opportunities within recent American poems about deeply personal, often embarrassing, experiences. Lyric poems, the book finds, can be surprising sites of a shifting, unruly comedy, as seen in the work of John Berryman, Robert Lowell, A. R. Ammons, Terrance Hayes, Morgan Parker, Natalie Shapero, and Monica Youn. The book draws out the ways in which key American poets have struggled with persistent expectations about what expressive poetry can and should do. It reveals how the modern lyric, rather than bestowing order on the poe ... More

Keywords: American poems, lyric poems, comedy, American poets, expressive poetry, modern lyric, humor, contemporary lyric practice

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9781501750977
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501750977.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Calista McRae, author
New Jersey Institute of Technology