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Belligerent Muse
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 232

Belligerent Muse

War destroys, but it also inspires, stimulates, and creates. It is, in this way, a muse, and a powerful one at that. The American Civil War was a particularly prolific muse--unleashing with its violent realities a torrent of language, from soldiers' intimate letters and diaries to everyday newspaper accounts, great speeches, and enduring literary works. In Belligerent Muse, Stephen Cushman considers the Civil War writings of five of the most significant and best known narrators of the conflict: Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman, William Tecumseh Sherman, Ambrose Bierce, and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Considering their writings both as literary expressions and as efforts to record the rigors of...

Heart Island
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 73

Heart Island

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Fictions of Form in American Poetry
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 230

Fictions of Form in American Poetry

In the 1830s Alexis de Tocqueville prophesied that American writers would slight, even despise, form--that they would favor the sensational over rational order. He suggested that this attitude was linked to a distinct concept of democracy in America. Exposing the inaccuracies of such claims when applied to poetry, Stephen Cushman maintains that American poets tend to overvalue the formal aspects of their art and in turn overestimate the relationship between those formal aspects and various ideas of America. In this book Cushman examines poems and prose statements in which poets as diverse as Emily Dickinson and Ezra Pound describe their own poetic forms, and he investigates links and analogi...

Riffraff
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 80

Riffraff

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: 2011-02-16
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  • Publisher: LSU Press

Stephen Cushman's Riffraff embodies the spirit of its title, a Middle English word for "every particle" or "things of small value." In this striking collection, scraps of the overlooked, and distasteful -- a prostitute passed in the street, the speaker's own forgotten dreams, toothless dogs rolling in deer offal -- become occasions to meditate on the rich experiences from which we too often turn away. The poems reflect on the possibilities of language, the natural world, politics, history, eros, aging, family, and spiritual devotion. Without pretension, Cushman values "adepts who can dwell in the kiosk of a kiss." Skillfully, he transmutes his own curiosity and surprise into moments of shared instruction. "Keep low," he whispers. "Stay put. / Learn from the leaves." Riffraff culls what we have discarded, saves from abandonment the notions we have taken for granted, and, indeed, venerates every particle.

Blue Pajamas
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 53

Blue Pajamas

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: 1998
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  • Publisher: LSU Press

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Bloody Promenade
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 295

Bloody Promenade

On 5 and 6 May 1864, the Union and Confederate armies met near an unfinished railroad in central Virginia, with Lee outmanned and outgunned, hoping to force Grant to fight in the woods. The name of the battle—Wilderness—suggests the horror of combat at close quarters and an inability to see the whole field of engagement, even from a distance. Indeed, the battle is remembered for its brutality and ultimate futility for Lee: even with 26,000 casualties on both sides, the Wilderness only briefly stemmed Grant's advance. Stephen Cushman lives fifty miles south of this battlefield. A poet and professor of American literature, he wrote Bloody Promenade to confront the fractured legacy of a bat...

The Red List
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 8

The Red List

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: 2014-10-15
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  • Publisher: LSU Press

The "red list" of Stephen Cushman's new volume of poetry is the endangered species register, and the book begins and ends with the bald eagle, a bird that bounded back from the verge of extinction. The volume marks the inevitability of such changes, from danger to safety, from certainty to uncertainty, from joy to sadness and back again. In a single poem that advances through wordplay and association, Cushman meditates on subjects as vast as the earth's fragile ecosystem and as small as the poet's own deflated fantasy of self-importance: "There aren't any jobs for more Jeremiahs." Simultaneously teasing the present and eulogizing what has been lost, Cushman speaks like a Shakespearean jester, freely and foolishly, but with penetrating insight.

Cussing Lesson
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 52

Cussing Lesson

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: 2002-01-01
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  • Publisher: LSU Press

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Hothead
  • Language: en
  • Pages: 88

Hothead

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: 2018-04-04
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  • Publisher: LSU Press

Hothead is a haibun-patterned, book-length declamation in which no topic is off limits—Buddha, Jesus, Lincoln, America, global warming, eros, mental illness, the natural world, technology, the aging body. Cushman’s poetry shows us how to live in a world in which it is difficult to balance “the place where light and dark meet.” With an outmoded laptop named Patience as his daily consort, the speaker navigates through themes of love, politics, and belief. “There’s got to be someone,” Cushman writes, “exploring the way,” and the speaker of Hothead steps in to fill those shoes with intelligence, endurance, moxie, and humility.

Relient K
  • Language: en

Relient K

  • Type: Book
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  • Published: Unknown
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  • Publisher: PediaPress

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