The form, lineation, and prosody of postmodern poems are extravagantly artistic, imbuing either shape and content material with that means. via a survey of yank poetry and poetics from the tip of worldwide conflict II to the current, Michael Golston strains the proliferation of those experiments to a becoming fascination with allegory in philosophy, linguistics, severe idea, and aesthetics, introducing new concepts for interpreting American poetry whereas embedding its formal thoughts in the historical past of highbrow thought.
Beginning with Walter Benjamin's specific realizing of Surrealism as an allegorical paintings, Golston defines a unique engagement with allegory between philosophers, theorists, and critics from 1950 to at the present time. studying Fredric Jameson, Angus Fletcher, Roland Barthes, and Craig Owens, and dealing with the semiotics of Charles Sanders Pierce, Golston develops a concept of allegory he then applies to the poems of Louis Zukofsky and Lorine Niedecker, who, he argues, wrote based on the Surrealists; the poems of John Ashbery and Clark Coolidge, who included formal features of filmmaking and images into their paintings; the groundbreaking configurations of P. Inman, Lyn Hejinian, Myung Mi Kim, and the Language poets; Susan Howe's "Pierce-Arrow," which he submits to semiotic research; and the recommendations of Craig Dworkin and the conceptualists. Revitalizing what many deliberate to be a staid rhetorical trope, Golston positions allegory as an inventive catalyst in the back of American poetry's postwar avant-garde achievements.