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Palgrave Macmillan

The Pursuit of Myth in the Poetry of Frank O'Hara, Ted Berrigan and John Forbes

Prick'd by Charm

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  • © 2022

Overview

  • Synthesizes concepts of “myth” and “charm”
  • Examines contemporary poets’ cult status and the particular charm of their writing
  • Studies mythopoetics to understand the making of the figure of the poet and poetic communities

Part of the book series: Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics (MPCC)

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About this book

The Pursuit of Myth in the Poetry of Frank O'Hara, Ted Berrigan and John Forbes traces a tradition of revolutionary self-mythologising in the lives and works of Frank O’Hara, Ted Berrigan and John Forbes, as a significant trefoil in twentieth-century English language poetry. All three had untimely deaths, excited a collective homage, and developed cult followings that reverberate today. This book tracks the transmission of the poem as charm, the poet as charmer, and the reinstitution of troubadour erotics as a kind of social poetics. Starting with Orpheus, the book refreshes the myth of the poet as mythmaker, examining how myths of “self” and “nation” are regenerated for the twenty-first century and how persons-as-myths are made in community through coteries of artists and beyond. Duncan Bruce Hose’s critical vocabulary, with its nucleus of mythos, searches the edges of phenomenal enquiry, closing in on the work of “glamour”, “aura”, “charm”, “possession”, “phantasm”, the “daemonic”, and the logic of haunting in the continuing being of these three poets as “charismatic animals”.

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Keywords

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Reviews

"This book both persuades us to think anew about the modernist framework of mythopoesis in relation to later 20th-century poets and carefully revises our understanding of mythmaking by disclosing its affinity for the poetic ‘charm’—not simply one of the root forms of all lyric poetry, but a quality of certain poems and personalities which becomes more potent in the age of the technical media” — Daniel Tiffany, author of Infidel Poetics and My Silver Planet

“This book is about three poets—Frank O’Hara, Ted Berrigan and John Forbes—in a network of inheritance and affiliation…bound together by a set of mythologies which established and renewed itself during each of their lifetimes. Lives, works, and acts of transmission come under equal scrutiny in a book whose presiding term, “charm”, makes legible the extraordinary powers of attraction exercised by O’Hara, and the horizontal and vertical networks of courtship, collaboration, and haunting that were generated by his presence and re-energised posthumously. The style of the book is itself charismatic: the thinking and writing is wholly distinctive for its serious wit, brilliantly managed shifts of tone and register, and wonderful lucidity across the larger arc of the argument.”

 ¬— 'Fiona Green, Associate Professor of American Literature, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge'


Authors and Affiliations

  • West Hobart, Australia

    Duncan Hose

About the author

Duncan Bruce Hose is a poet, scholar and painter. His published books include Testacles Gone Walkabout (2021), The Jewelled Shillelagh (2019), Bunratty (2015), A Book of Sea-Shanty (2014), One Under Bacchus (2011) and Rathaus (2007).

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