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Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry
Robert Pinsky

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"Pinsky's startlingly original thesis--that democracy's contradictory drive toward monadic individualism and mass conformity is echoed, and resolved, in the parallel tension between the solitary practice of poetry and the collective invocation of its voice--is itself a cultural event of major significance. In showing how poetry, by its mimetic embodiment, artfully resists and engages our demotic cultural dilemma, he sharply defines the moral and social place of poetry for our times. His model of internal cultural analysis will inform and delight both poet and reader, humanists as well as social scientists. This is perhaps the most important discourse on cultural analysis by a major poet since Eliot's Notes Towards the Definition of Culture."--Orlando Patterson, Harvard University

"Robert Pinsky has produced a fine, lean book on a very large topic. With fresh and compelling arguments, Pinsky writes that poetry has a significant role to play in a mass-democracy, that American poetry has produced extraordinary art, and that this genre has truly engaged with the challenge to traditional art forms raised by democratic revolutions."--Robert von Hallberg, University of Chicago

"An important contribution to our thinking about the place of poetry in American life. No one could be more qualified to speak on this subject than Robert Pinsky, who combines extraordinary gifts as a poet, critic, and public ambassador for the art. The book is full of provocative thought and sharp observations about poems and responses to poetry."--Paul Breslin, Northwestern University

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File created: 4/21/2017

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