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Our Dionysian Experiment: Three Theses on the Poetry of Thom Gunn

Brian Teare

in At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226890432
eISBN:
9780226890371
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226890371.003.0012
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

By examining the creative and critical oeuvre of Thom Gunn, with particular emphasis on his notebooks and his work's critical reception, which, when read side by side, allow us to witness a kind of ... More


‘I Don’t Like Dramatizing Myself’

William Wootten

in The Alvarez Generation: Thom Gunn, Geoffrey Hill, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and Peter Porter

Published in print:
2015
Published Online:
May 2016
ISBN:
9781781381632
eISBN:
9781781384893
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:
10.5949/liverpool/9781781381632.003.0013
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

This chapter considers the poetry of Thom Gunn. While discussing ‘The Gas Poker’ a poem from his last volume, 2000's Boss Cupid, Gunn remarked: ‘I don't like dramatizing myself. I don't want to be ... More


Thom Gunn and Anglo-American Modernism

Keith Tuma

in At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226890432
eISBN:
9780226890371
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226890371.003.0007
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

Keith Tuma takes a distinctively broad view by looking at Gunn's identity as an Anglo-American poet through the lens of British and American modernism; August Kleinzahler extends the discussion ... More


Summation and Chthonic Power

John Peck

in At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226890432
eISBN:
9780226890371
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226890371.003.0011
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

Summation is powerful and mature statement, but as an organizing principle for poetry in English it has regained, long after the modernist detours around it, at best an intricately defended, ... More


Love and Sex

John Holmes

in Darwin's Bards: British and American Poetry in the Age of Evolution

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780748639403
eISBN:
9780748652174
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748639403.003.0007
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

This chapter examines the implications of the fact that humans are animals for how they think about love and sexual desire. Constance Naden's finest achievement as a comic poet is the series of four ... More


The Alvarez Generation: Thom Gunn, Geoffrey Hill, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and Peter Porter

William Wootten

Published in print:
2015
Published Online:
May 2016
ISBN:
9781781381632
eISBN:
9781781384893
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:
10.5949/liverpool/9781781381632.001.0001
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

This book is the biography of a taste in poetry and its consequences. During the 1950s and 1960s, a generation of poets appeared who would eschew the restrained manner of Movement poets such as ... More


Coda: Thom Gunn, Inside and Outside

Robert Pinsky

in At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226890432
eISBN:
9780226890371
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226890371.003.0017
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

Robert Pinsky's deft and illuminating portrait of Gunn “inside and outside,” “at the barriers,” captures the essential “all-of-the-above” paradox of Gunn's shrewd genius. Inside and outside, prudent ... More


Introduction

Joshua Weiner

in At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226890432
eISBN:
9780226890371
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226890371.003.0001
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

This book surveys Thom Gunn's career from his youth in 1930s Britain to his final years in California, from his earliest publications to his later unpublished notebooks, bringing together some of the ... More


Gunn, Shakespeare, and the Elizabethans

Clive Wilmer

in At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226890432
eISBN:
9780226890371
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226890371.003.0005
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

This chapter on Gunn shows how his dramatic power and shape-making integrity reach back to his favorite poet. Everyone seems to agree that, in August Kleinzahler's words, “Gunn is an Elizabethan poet ... More


From Ladd's Hill to Land's End (and Back Again): Narrative, Rhythm, and the Transatlantic Occasions of “Misanthropos”

Joshua Weiner

in At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226890432
eISBN:
9780226890371
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226890371.003.0008
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

“Misanthropos,” a poem understood to be central to Gunn's body of work, is not one that has been very well served by a previous generation of critics. Gunn did not try to explore experience through ... More


Young Gunn: Coming Out Fighting

Neil Powell

in At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226890432
eISBN:
9780226890371
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226890371.003.0003
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

Thom Gunn's autobiographical writings give us the portrait of a young man unusually sensitive and rather pliant. If he titled his first book Fighting Terms, a book containing poems with aggressive ... More


Thom Gunn's New Jerusalem

Tom Sleigh

in At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226890432
eISBN:
9780226890371
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226890371.003.0013
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

Gunn speaks of the different varieties of New Jerusalem, the political and pharmaceutical kinds, and tells us how “I’ve visited most of them,” but that the only one he would care to return to is “the ... More


Thom Gunn's “Duncan”

Wendy Lesser

in At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226890432
eISBN:
9780226890371
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226890371.003.0016
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

The specificity of the dead was very important to Gunn, and this is why he was a great poet about death. Death, as he knew, is not an impersonal entity that exists in the world, like air or dirt, but ... More


Thom Gunn: the Plain Style and the City

August Kleinzahler

in At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226890432
eISBN:
9780226890371
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226890371.003.0006
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

The popular line on Gunn's poetry, trotted out as recently as this past summer by A. Alvarez, in a review of Gunn's Collected Poems in the New Yorker, is that his first book, Fighting Terms, and his ... More


Two Versions of “Meat”

Thom Gunn

in At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226890432
eISBN:
9780226890371
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226890371.003.0009
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

“Two Versions of ‘Meat’” was reprinted for two reasons. The first is substantial: because of where we sit historically, some presume that progress in the art of poetry involves a re-visioning from ... More


Shakespeare and Poetry

Peter Holbrook

in The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780748635238
eISBN:
9780748652297
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635238.003.0003
Subject:
Literature, Shakespeare Studies

This chapter argues that the various typologies of poetry in Shakespeare are often, surprisingly, treated satirically: poetry is linked to fantasy, to dubious claims and to an alienation from ... More


All that You Praise I Take: A Glimpse of the Young Thom Gunn

Eavan Boland

in At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226890432
eISBN:
9780226890371
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226890371.003.0002
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

In this chapter the author intends to sketch something of the young Thom Gunn as he first appeared to him: as a poet from a different world whom he tried to apprehend and, at first, only partially ... More


At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn

Joshua Weiner (ed.)

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226890432
eISBN:
9780226890371
Item type:
book
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226890371.001.0001
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

Maverick gay poetic icon Thom Gunn (1929–2004) and his body of work have long dared the British and American poetry establishments either to claim or disavow him. To critics in the UK and US alike, ... More


Domains of Ecstasy

David Gewanter

in At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
February 2013
ISBN:
9780226890432
eISBN:
9780226890371
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226890371.003.0014
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

How can the body find ecstasy? How can it survive it? For some Romantic poets, moments of bliss may come to a solitary explorer who “wanders lonely as a cloud,” then finds a new flower or ocean. Yet ... More


On Balance

John Holmes

in Darwin's Bards: British and American Poetry in the Age of Evolution

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780748639403
eISBN:
9780748652174
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748639403.003.0008
Subject:
Literature, Poetry

This chapter starts by discussing how Robert Frost, A. R. Ammons and Pattiann Rogers expressly weigh up the Darwinian condition. Next, it examines how Thomas Hardy, Amy Clampitt and Thom Gunn use ... More


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