ABC of Influence

Written by: Christopher John Beach

Christopher Beach, Ph.D. (English Literature) discusses the influence of Ezra Pound on American poetry. ABC of Influence: Ezra Pound and the Remaking of American Poetic Tradition was published in 1992 by the University of California Press. Beach examines the “Pound tradition” and how it influenced American poets in the years following World War II.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries were a time when poets and philosophers were breaking from tradition and experimenting with literary form and expression. Pound extolled the concept of “Make it new.” meaning to express the changing world rather than remain constrained previous norms.

Beach takes who he perhaps considers the most influential of the modernists – Ezra Pound (1885-1972) – and explores how he influenced American poetry and poets including: Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg and others.

Chapter Titles from ABC of Influence

  1. The Pound Tradition
  2. Ezra Pound and Harold Bloom: Influences, Canons, Traditions and the Making of Modern Poetry
  3. Expanding the Poundian Field: Whitman, Williams and Zukofsky
  4. History in a Cyclotron: Charles Olson As Poet-Historian and the Model of Ezra Pound
  5. History in a Cyclotron: Charles Olson As Poet-Historian and the Model of Ezra Pound
  6. Olson As Mencius and His Master, Pound: A Study in Poetic Tradition
  7. Objectivist Romantic: Ezra Pound and the Poetic Constellations of Robert Duncan
  8. In Harmony with the Master: Formal and Political Structures in Duncan’s Poetry
  9. Pound’s Words in Their Pockets: Denise Levertov and Gary Snyder
  10. Migrating Voices in the Poetry of Edward Dorn

Conclusion: Reappropriation and Resistance: Charles Bernstein, Language Poetry, and Poetic Tradition


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ABC of Influence

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