Dylan's Poetry Review


Dylan's Poetry Review
Yes, once again La Vita Nuova hosts a lovely couplet. In this case a pair of poems. One by 16th century poet Thomas Campion, the other by Countee Culllen. These kinds of reasonable comparison completely defy those who wish for a rigid and largely exclusive canon. (Although, are there really any such unreasonable beasts, or are they straw men? I don't know sufficiently the shape of the academic terrain to say. But considering that in all books about the Western Canon I hear not a single word about the poets of the Harlem Renaissance, Vachel Lindsay, or Paul Lawrence Dunbar, one must begin to wonder.) The Canon can take in an enormous amount and never bloat, and I would guess that Countee Cullen is more likely to speak to modern young people than Leo Tolstoy, Henry James, or several others commonly in the canon (although, in reality, given our current trends in education, most modern young people may emerge from school unable to read or apprehend any of them).

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 24, 2002 6:16 PM.

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