Relevance and overall meritJammes was a Frost at Midnight fin du siecle Basue poet who wrote loose limbedree verse lyric poetry with a neo pastoral bent during an era when it was vastly Princess Baby, Night-Night fashionable to write semantically dense poetry about the ennui of city dwellers His value system revolved around a worship of purity and innocence two ualities that in his early work are rather nauseatingly symbolized by the bodies of rural dwelling young girls Jammes talks at length and with utmost sincerity about his pure sad soul and how it isolates himrom others How can he ever The Pentagon Papers: Making History at the Washington Post find a lasting true love if all the women he meets are not pure enough to accept his pure sad soulor what it is he asks His avowed abhorrence of all Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution forms of artifice is soorceful so deliberate that to me it sometimes seemed like its own orm of artifice His poems are also marked by a rather aggressive seeming willed joyfulnessAnd yet Just when you had made up your mind to hate Jammes on account of his turn of the century chauvinism and the way he clutches his naivete tightly to his chest like a child s life jacket he stuns you by writing so beautifully crafting images that eel so alive and breathe so much heady #fragrance your nostrils that your head simply spins His metaphors sunder all your expectations and all #up your that your head simply spins His metaphors sunder all your expectations and all notions of logic they confuse your senses with their seemingly artless evocations of synesthesia The look she gave was like lavender lowers as resh as the movements of your head Its winds are as bitter as olives Yes just when you had resolved to end this terrible blind date to gather up your purse and return to your lonely apartment all by yourself his magician s hands present you with this translucent crocus and that pink mushroom the thick black rose and the weeping iris afire And you think to yourself Ah well we all have laws What s important is Can we be salvaged Can we be redeemedThe irst three pages of this book are devoted to a prose work by Jammes titled Jammisme. For his masterful imagery and charming rankness Jammes' influence can be seen on the New York School and Deep Image poets In addition to its significance to literary history Jammes' work remains as surprising and resonant as when it was irst published with acclaim In this ifth volume of the Unsung Masters Series published by Pleiades Press at the University of Central Missouri editors Kathryn Nuernberger and Bruce Whiteman have sele. A Literary Manifesto This piece is a sort of ars poetica wherein Jammes waxes poetic about girls with charming legs and graceful breasts in a way that made my skin crawl He makes obnoxiously dogmatic pronouncements like What on earth am I to think of a writer who delights in depicting a living turtle encrusted with precious stones I cannot believe that such a person is worthy of the name of poet because God did not create turtles Flight, Vol. 7 for this purpose You can imagine how turned off I was by these narrow minded articles ofaith being myself a writer who believes that imagination and invention are components of a poet s toolbox no less vital than perception and observation It is my passionate conviction that poetry need not restrict itself to trafficking with nonfiction but is also at liberty to traffic with iction even science iction if that is what the Muse desires So after reading Jammisme A Literary Manifesto I was inclined to be severe on Jammes s #PoetryReading Jammes S Short Poems His Tristesses And His Uatrains #Jammes s short poems his Tristesses and his uatrains my prejudices a little but only a very little It was Jammes s long poems his Elegies that made a convert I challenge you to read Jammes s Second Elegy a our part nine page masterpiece and then tell me that it didn t break your heart like a soft soda cracker The Fifteenth Elegy which expresses Jammes s respect or his Camp Rex fellow French poet Marceline Desbordes Val also made me uestion whether I had judged Jammes too harshlyAsar as the six scholarly essays at the end of the book are concerned I would most highly recommend Nuernberger s it is the most original and interesting and controversial contending that Jammes eventually renounced his narrow views of emininity and *EVOLVED A PRO PROLETARIAT PROTO FEMINIST POLITICS LATE IN * a pro proletariat proto Touch of Enchantment feminist politics late in The only thing I wish were different about this book is it would have been nice if the French originals had been included so that Francophone readers could assess theaithfulness of the translations. Cted than seventy pages of representative poetry and prose by Jammes and they have brought together essays by poets and critics who admire his work Essays and appreciations by Jaswinder Bolina Janine Canan John Gallaher Christopher Howell Benjamin Johnson and Kathryn Nuernberger demonstrate Jammes' influence on the development of twentieth century poetics and reintroduce readers to an astonishing literary voice worth reading in any tim. Jammes poetry is wonderful he *s certainly a new avorite I m not a big an of the essays I think *certainly a new avorite I m not a big Pee Wee Scouts treasury (Pee Wee Scouts, fan of the essays I think s appropriateor the book and the essays are well written but I ind analyzing poems to deeply ruins some of the magic or me This tribute volume to the turn of the 20th Century rural poet Francis Jammes 1868 1938 is self recommending to those interested in French literature of the period or in the Pays Basue where the writer lived and is perhaps most valuable or the Introduction and six essays that place Jammes in context and argue or his importanceMuch of this critical writing discusses Jammes relation to Modernism which looks very slight rom this distance although it was also debated when he was alive Simplicity is indeed a hallmark of one type of Modernism which we can associate with William Carlos Williams as an exemplar Jammes does not seem so radically simple as Williams partly because as critic Christopher Howell points out he relies a lot on conventional Romantic phraseology as Williams certainly did not The most apt comparison or Jammes in English language poetry might actually be Thomas Hardy although Jammes orms are reerHowell eventually absolves Jammes of conventionality on the grounds that he means his clich s I m not sure it s a convincing argument The danger with a simple poet is shading into the simplistic and the language which Howell uotes and which is on display elsewhere in #this volume does sometimes seem simplisticKathryn Neuernberger one of the book s editors This book consists of a #volume does sometimes seem simplisticKathryn Neuernberger one of the book s editors This book consists of a page sampling of Francis Jammes s poems translated rom French into English by Kathryn Nuernberger Bruce Whiteman Teo Savory and Janine Canan These are ollowed by six short essays each written by a different literary scholar which provide a biographico historico geographical context or the poems analyze their influence on the development of Modernism especially with regards to Ezra Pound and Amy Lowell and assess their present day. In the mountain villages of the remote French Basue Country in the early years of the twentieth century Francis Jammes was writing poems plays and novels Praised by his French contemporaries Stéphane Mallarmé André Gide and Paul Claudel among others Jammes would become known among the American Modernists as one of their most essential influences And then thanks to the vagaries of time and taste he and his works were orgotten Known.
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