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I am certainly not interested in beginning another
thread of "the greatest poet ever" (rationale:  "because
I think so"); however, one influential poet (at least,
I think so), never seems to pop up, and I'd like
list members' opinions.

I took a seminar last semester (yes, i'm in training
to join the academic elite.  I guess that means I'll
be slammed by a few on the list) in Robert Penn Warren.
I had a very low opinion of him before the seminar, based
solely on information I had read and heard about
him, not having read any of his work myself.

Our professor believes, and expressed quite adamantly,
that Robert Penn Warren is THE greatest poet of the
20th century, has been eclipsed by the big splashes
of people like Eliot, and has not been recognized
because he doesn't fit neatly into any of the 20th
century poetic movements.

Now, while my opinion of Warren has certainly
been raised thanks to a careful reading of his work,
I'm not sure I agree with the professor's assessment
of him as the unsung hero of 20th century poetry.

Any thoughts?  What do you folks think of Warren?
Does he stand a chance?


--- "Christopher Tidwell (ENG)" <[log in to unmask]>
wrote: (quoting Logan)

      T. S. Eliot is still the dominant poet of the last
> century.  He casts
> a long shadow, and we are not yet out from under it, though he
> is very
> much a poet _of_ the twentieth century.  We can't calculate
> how such a
> poet will seem a century hence. (Who in 1900 would have
> thought Shelley's
> reputation would sink so low?)  The generation of poets now in
> their
> seventies were baptized in Eliot's language, like Achilles in
> the
> Styx.  Younger generations met him as an exhibit in a museum,
> already a
> little dusty (Eliot's lesser poems now look like rotting flags
> in old
> armories).  Eliot was a benign influence on later poets, once
> they stopped
> trying to imitate him; but he was a disaster for
> contemporaries like
> Conrad Aiken, who thought Eliot's methods weren't
> patented--poor Aiken
> looks like a carbon copy's carbon copy.


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