The All-Sustaining Air: Romantic Legacies and Renewals in British, American, and Irish Poetry since 1900



Michael O'Neill, The All-Sustaining Air: Romantic Legacies and Renewals in British, American, and Irish Poetry since 1900
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA | 2007 | ISBN 0199299285 | File type: PDF | 221 pages | 10.3 mb
Drawn from Shelley's Prometheus Unbound, the title of this book suggests the cultural and literary persistence of the Romantic in the work of many British, American, and Irish poets since 1900. Allowing for and celebrating the multiple, even fractured nature of Romantic legacies, Michael O'Neill focuses on the creative impact of Romantic poetry on twentieth- and twenty-first century poetry. Individual chapters embrace numerous authors and texts, and span different cultures; the intention is not the forlorn hope of completeness, but the wish to open up possibilities and intersections, and there is a strong sense throughout of poetry serving as a subtle and profound form of literary criticism.
A wide-ranging introduction analyses the persistence of the Romantic in poets such as Ted Hughes, Wilfred Owen, Robert Frost, Denise Levertov, Robert Lowell, and others, and sets the scene for subsequent discussions. Chapter 1 dwells on images of 'air', using these to understand the efforts of a number of twentieth-century poets to 'sustain' Romanticism, or forms of it. Chapters 2 and 3 focus on Yeats and Eliot, respectively, the latter apparently shunning the Romantic, the former seeming to embrace it, but both responding with acute subtlety and individuality to the Romantic bequest.

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