Poetry in a Global Age

Poetry in a Global Age

Jahan Ramazani

Print publication date: 2021

ISBN: 9780226730004

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


How does poetry convey what it’s like to live in a global age? Although poetry has figured minimally in world literary studies, attention to its global dimensions can advance the transnational turn in the humanities. Even when poetry seems rooted in localities and nations, its long memory of forms and words, its capacity for radial connections across centuries and continents and languages make it a powerful imaginative resource for a global age. This book examines a wide array of modern and contemporary poems in relation to recent debates in and around world literature, world history, global studies, ecocriticism, tourism studies, postcolonial studies, orientalist critique, translation studies, and lyric studies. It illuminates how poetry articulates global flows, planetary enmeshments, and cosmopolitan engagements, especially since the late nineteenth century, when the worldwide movement of people, goods, cultures, ideas, and information accelerated and expanded. Shaped by globalization, poems make visible the texture of the lived experience of globality in polytemporal layers of language, technique, and form. This book explores how poetry figures the relation between local and global, modernist and postcolonial, and foreign form and local content. It takes deep dives into the work of individual poets whose globality varies—Yeats’s Asias, Stevens’s eco-cosmopolitanism, Heaney’s alphabetic globe—and it addresses poetry’s potential contribution to world literary studies and translation studies. It stakes a strong claim for poetry’s place in the development of the fields of world literature and global studies.