Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry by Robert Pinsky audiobook

Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry

By Robert Pinsky
Read by Lloyd James

University Press Audiobooks
1.79 Hours 1
Format : Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781509494583

The place of poetry in modern democracy is no place, according to conventional wisdom. The poet, we hear, is a casualty of mass entertainment and prosaic public culture, banished to the artistic sidelines to compose variations on insipid themes for a dwindling audience. Robert Pinsky, however, argues that this gloomy diagnosis is as wrongheaded as it is familiar. Pinsky, whose remarkable career as a poet itself undermines the view, writes that to portray poetry and democracy as enemies is to radically misconstrue both. The voice of poetry, he explains, resonates with profound themes at the very heart of democratic culture There is no one in America better to write on this topic. One of the country's most accomplished poets, Robert Pinsky served an unprecedented two terms as America's Poet Laureate (1997-2000) and led the immensely popular multimedia Favorite Poem Project, which invited Americans to submit and read aloud their favorite poems. Pinsky draws on his experiences and on characteristically sharp and elegant observations of individual poems to argue that expecting poetry to compete with show business is to mistake its greatest democratic strength - its intimate, human scale - as a weakness. As an expression of individual voice, a poem implicitly allies itself with ideas about individual dignity that are democracy's bedrock, far more than is mass participation. Yet poems also summon up communal life. Even the most inward-looking work imagines a reader. And in their rhythms and cadences poems carry in their very bones the illusion and dynamic of call and response. Poetry, Pinsky writes, cannot help but mediate between the inner consciousness of the individual reader and the outer world of other people. As part of the entertainment industry, he concludes, poetry will always be small and overlooked. As an art - and one that is inescapably democratic - it is massive and fundamental. The book is published by Princeton University Press.

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Summary

Summary

The place of poetry in modern democracy is no place, according to conventional wisdom. The poet, we hear, is a casualty of mass entertainment and prosaic public culture, banished to the artistic sidelines to compose variations on insipid themes for a dwindling audience. Robert Pinsky, however, argues that this gloomy diagnosis is as wrongheaded as it is familiar. Pinsky, whose remarkable career as a poet itself undermines the view, writes that to portray poetry and democracy as enemies is to radically misconstrue both. The voice of poetry, he explains, resonates with profound themes at the very heart of democratic culture

There is no one in America better to write on this topic. One of the country's most accomplished poets, Robert Pinsky served an unprecedented two terms as America's Poet Laureate (1997-2000) and led the immensely popular multimedia Favorite Poem Project, which invited Americans to submit and read aloud their favorite poems. Pinsky draws on his experiences and on characteristically sharp and elegant observations of individual poems to argue that expecting poetry to compete with show business is to mistake its greatest democratic strength - its intimate, human scale - as a weakness.

As an expression of individual voice, a poem implicitly allies itself with ideas about individual dignity that are democracy's bedrock, far more than is mass participation. Yet poems also summon up communal life. Even the most inward-looking work imagines a reader. And in their rhythms and cadences poems carry in their very bones the illusion and dynamic of call and response.

Poetry, Pinsky writes, cannot help but mediate between the inner consciousness of the individual reader and the outer world of other people. As part of the entertainment industry, he concludes, poetry will always be small and overlooked. As an art - and one that is inescapably democratic - it is massive and fundamental. The book is published by Princeton University Press.

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Author

Author Bio: Robert Pinsky

Author Bio: Robert Pinsky

Robert Pinsky was born and raised in Long Branch, New Jersey. He went to college at Rutgers and then to graduate studies at Stanford, where he held a Stegner Fellowship. Among his collections of poetry are Gulf Music, Jersey Rain, The Want Bone, and The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996. His bestselling translation The Inferno of Dante received both the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award. His prose books include The Life of David, The Situation of Poetry, and The Sounds of Poetry. Among his awards and honors are the William Carlos Williams Prize, the Harold Washington Award from the City of Chicago, the Italian Premio Capri, the PEN-Volcker Award, and the Korean Manhae Prize. He recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the PEN American Center. Robert Pinsky founded The Favorite Poem Project, including the videos that can be seen at www.favoritepoem.org, while serving an unprecedented three terms as United States Poet Laureate.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Literary Collections
Runtime: 1.79
Audience: Adult
Language: English