Harriet Monroe



Poetry a Zest for Live


Literatur: Monroe
Literatur: Poetry
Literatur: "1913"


IT is good to be reminded of first principles in these days of professional scholarship of detail. Enjoyment of Poetry, by Mr. Max Eastman (Charles Scribner's Sons), is not only psychological analysis worthy of an ex-professor of philosophy, but it is also emotion. It is the work of a live man enthralled by the power and beauty of the spirit of poetry, and passionately moved to show its importance in the eternal and temporal scheme of things, and to hint at the abysmal folly and stupidity of neglecting it. So full of essential faith is the author – faith in life, in man, in unvanquishable truth and beauty, in the ever-renewing vitality of the art – that his mood throughout the book is joyous; he carries one along in the sweep of his generous feeling, and pays no attention to hackneyed complaints of this so-called prosaic and material age.

Mr. Eastman begins by showing that poetry is essentially love of life. The poetic person loves the journey, while the practical person loves the goal. The former lives, the latter only uses life for his purpose. The distinction, he thinks,

lies not in books but in the protoplasm. No doubt, if we knew enough, we could trace this cleavage of two motives back into the very birth of alertness in matter, and there see the one current scorning the other as today. For poetry is an attitude of the body. Both anteceding and transcending speech or idea, it is a way of experiencing realities

[141] Children are poetic in their zest for experiment and adventure, Aeschylus was poetic in forgetting his tragedies to order inscribed upon his tomb the boast that he fought at Marathon. The author is full of a healthy scorn for that "pretty demon called an Artistic Temperament"; the poetic instinct "is not an attribute of special, exotic or disordered types, but a universal quality of our nature." No man living is wholly bereft of a zest for life; but "it is only the childlike and the poetic who make innumerable intimate acquaintances," who welcome and perfect all experience.

Mr. Eastman's scorn of the rhetoricians is refreshing. With one large gesture he dismisses their catalogues from the dictionary, reduces simile and metonymy and synecdoche "and other long-tailed monsters" to the primitive human impulse for naming things, for naming them eloquently, poignantly, in words or phrases that flash the very essence of their meaning on the mind.

The selective poetic name guides the attention to a focus; and this service, though it may seem slight, is in fact very great, and for the majority indispensable to the acute realization of anything. Even to that lucky few who are by nature awake when their eyes are open, the living word is no superfluity. He who can speak it, who can sometimes catch the humor of their sensibility and crystallize it upon a point, is as dear to them as he is tedious who can neither select a focus nor remain silent, but spreads adjectives all over the face of nature. . . Words make the world grow, not because they express a feeling, but because they give to the feeling locality and distinct body. . . The more hot and electric the mind's passion for experience, the more it narrows itself to a single item and condenses there the whole ecstasy. . . Ideally poetry would always be a vivifying, through the magic of imagery and syllable, of present experience in an adventurous world.

But " they are Time's fools who summarize." We cannot squeeze out the essence of this volume, nor quote a tithe of its very quotable phrases. All that is for its [142] readers, who should be numerous. The whole effect of the argument is to combat the popular heresy that poetry is a bookish art. "Poetry is a countryman," he says, "and greets every experience by its own name. . . . Poetry ushers us out of the library; it is a gesture toward the world."

In democracy, and more democracy, he thinks, lies the hope of the art. "That baleful constraint, the ideal of respectability, is a more sure destroyer of poetry" than even poverty, or absorbing ambition. The wealthy "wrap themselves in fabrics and fine manners, encase themselves in forms, touch nothing to the quick."

They who cherish hopes of poetry will, therefore, do well to favor every assault of labor upon the monopoly of leisure by a few. They will be ready for a drastic redistribution of the idle hours.

The brief and curiously elementary chapter on prosody is the only vulnerable point in the book. We reserve its inadequacies, and those of certain longer works on the subject, for further discussion.





Erstdruck und Druckvorlage

A Magazine of Verse.
Bd. 2, 1913, Nr. 4, Juli, S. 140-142.

Gezeichnet: H. M.

Die Textwiedergabe erfolgt nach dem ersten Druck (Editionsrichtlinien).

Poetry. A Magazine of Verse   online
URL: https://modjourn.org/journal/poetry/
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000677633
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008916521





das besprochene Werk




Literatur: Monroe

Brandmeyer, Rudolf: Poetiken der Lyrik: Von der Normpoetik zur Autorenpoetik. In: Handbuch Lyrik. Theorie, Analyse, Geschichte. Hrsg. von Dieter Lamping. 2. Aufl. Stuttgart 2016, S. 2-15.

Irmscher, Christoph: Max Eastman. A Life. New Haven u. London 2017.

Newcomb, John T.: How Did Poetry Survive? The Making of Modern American Verse. Urbana, Ill. u.a. 2012.

O'Neill, William L.: The Last Romantic. A Life of Max Eastman. With a New Introduction by the Author. New Brunswick u.a. 1991.

Tadié, Benoît: The Masses Speak: The Masses (1911-17); The Liberator (1918-24); New Masses (1926-48); and Masses & Mainstream (1948-63). In: The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines. Hrsg. von Peter Brooker u.a. Bd. 2: North America 1894-1960. Oxford 2012, S. 831-856.



Literatur: Poetry

Carr, Helen: Poetry: A Magazine of Verse (1912-36), 'Biggest of Little Magazines'. In: The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines. Hrsg. von Peter Brooker u.a. Bd. 2: North America 1894-1960. Oxford 2012, S. 40-60.

Ernst, Jutta: Amerikanische Modernismen. Schreibweisen, Konzepte und zeitgenössische Periodika als Vermittlungsinstanzen. Würzburg 2018.

Marek, Jayne: Women Editing Modernism. Lexington 1995.

Massa, Ann: Form Follows Function: The Construction of Harriet Monroe and Poetry, A Magazine of Verse. Knoxville 1995.

Moody, A. David: Ezra Pound. Poet. Vol. I: The Young Genius 1885-1920. Oxford 2007.

Newcomb, John T.: Poetry's Opening Door: Harriet Monroe and American Modernism. In: Little Magazines & Modernism. New Approaches. Hrsg. von Suzanne Churchill u. Adam McKible. Aldershot, England 2007, S. 85-103.
URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/20771168   [2005]

Newcomb, John T.: How Did Poetry Survive? The Making of Modern American Verse. Urbana, Ill. u.a. 2012.

Olson, Liesl: Chicago Renaissance. Literature and Art in the Midwest Metropolis. New Haven u. London 2017.

Parisi, Joseph / Young, Stephen (Hrsg.): Dear Editor. A History of Poetry in Letters. The First Fifty Years, 1912-1962. New York 2002.

Schulze, Robin G.: Harriet Monroe's Pioneer Modernism: Nature, National Identity, and Poetry, A Magazine of Verse. In: Legacy 21.1 (2004), S. 50-67.
URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/25679482

Williams, Ellen: Harriet Monroe and the Poetry Renaissance. The First Ten Years of Poetry, 1912-22. Urbana 1977.




Literatur: "1913"

Asendorf, Christoph: Widersprüchliche Optionen: Stationen der Künste 1913 In: Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur 38.1 (2013), S. 191–206.

Berranger, Marie-Paule: "À quoi bon les poètes en ces temps de détresse?" In: 1913: cent ans après. Enchantements et désenchantements. Hrsg. von Colette Camelin u. Marie-Paule Berranger. Paris 2015 (= Collection: Colloque de Cerisy), S. 289-324.

Brion-Guerry, Liliane (Hrsg.): L'année 1913. Les formes esthétiques de l'œuvre d'art à la veille de la première guerre mondiale. 3 Bde. Paris 1971/73.
Bd. 3 (1973): Manifestes et témoignages.

Camelin, Colette / Berranger, Marie-Paule (Hrsg.): 1913: cent ans après. Enchantements et désenchantements. Paris 2015 (= Collection: Colloque de Cerisy).

Chickering, Roger: Das Jahr 1913. Ein Kommentar. In: Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur 39.1 (2014), S. 137-143.

Dowden, Stephen D.: Vienna 1913: dans le vrai. In: Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur 38.2 (2013), S. 452-468.

Emmerson, Charles: 1913. In Search for the World before the Great War. New York 2013.

Erhart, Walter: Literatur 1913. Zeit ohne Geschichte? Perspektiven synchronoptischer Geschichtsschreibung. In: Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur 39.1 (2014), S. 123-136.

Hamburger, Michael: 1912. In: Ders., Reason and Energy. Studies in German Literature. London 1957, S. 213-236.

Hübinger, Gangolf: Das Jahr 1913 in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Zur Einführung in den Themenschwerpunkt. In: Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur 38.1 (2013), S. 172-190.

Illies, Florian: 1913. Der Sommer des Jahrhunderts. Frankfurt a.M. 2015 (= Fischer-TaschenBibliothek).

Jauß, Hans R.: Die Epochenschwelle von 1912: Guillaume Apollinaires 'Zone' und 'Lundi Rue Christine'. In: Ders., Studien zum Epochenwandel der ästhetischen Moderne. Frankfurt a.M. 1989 (= suhrkamp taschenbuch wissenschaft, 864), S. 216-256.

Johnson, J. Theodore: The Year 1913: An Interdisciplinary Course. In: Teaching Literature and Other Arts. Hrsg. von Jean-Pierre Barricelli u.a. New York 1990, S. 108-115.

Klausnitzer, Ralf: "Literarische Kunst". Richard Moritz Meyers Beobachtungen des Jahres 1913 und die Gegenwart der Vergangenheit. In: Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur 38.2 (2013), S. 514-539.

Kushner, Marilyn S. u.a. (Hrsg.): The Armory Show at 100. Modernism and Revolution. London 2013.

Mares, Detlev u.a. (Hrsg.): Das Jahr 1913. Aufbrüche und Krisenwahrnehmungen am Vorabend des Ersten Weltkriegs. Bielefeld 2014.

McFarland, Philip James: 1913. Reflections on a Number. In: Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur 39.1 (2014), S. 144-150.

Rabaté, Jean-Michel: 1913. The Cradle of Modernism. Malden, MA 2007.

Sautermeister, Gert: Kultur und Literatur in Deutschland und Bremen um 1913. In: Bremisches Jahrbuch 93 (2014), S. 105-120.

Schaefer, Barbara (Hrsg.): 1912 – Mission Moderne. Die Jahrhundertschau des Sonderbundes. Köln 2012.

Werner, Meike G.: Warum 1913? Zur Fortsetzung des Themenschwerpunkts "Das Jahr 1913 in Geschichte und Gegenwart". In: Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur 38.2 (2013), S. 443–451.



Lyriktheorie » R. Brandmeyer