Missing Measures: Modern Poetry and the Revolt Against Meter (Hardcover)

Missing Measures: Modern Poetry and the Revolt Against Meter By Timothy Steele Cover Image
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By the close of the nineteenth century, many poets had abandoned rhyme and meter in favor of “free verse.” Nearly one hundred years later, a growing number of younger poets are reclaiming traditional conventions of prosody by composing rhymed and measured poetry.

Missing Measures is the first full articulation of the aesthetics of this new movement. Timothy Steele, one of the best of those poets who are sometimes called the “New Formalists,” treats his subject against a backdrop of the long history of ideas about poetry, formulated first by the ancients and re-examined and re-interpreted by subsequent writers.

Steele offers a new perspective on the wholesale departure from tradition proclaimed in modernist critical justifications. A rare marriage of clear writing, careful scholarship, and bold thinking, Missing Measures provides a vital new movement with a critical manifesto.

About the Author

Timothy Steele was born in Burlington, Vermont, in 1948. He has a doctorate from Brandeis University and receieved a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. He is an associate professor of English at California State University in Los Angeles. Steele is the author of two collections of poetry, Uncertainties and Unrest and Sapphics Against Anger. Recipient of the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Steele lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Victoria.

Praise For…

“Professor Steele … must be among the most eminent and most respected of the recent wave of younger poets dubbed the New Formalists. With his Sapphics Against Anger, Steele stepped to the front of a fast-rising movement. But as yet nobody knows that Steele also happens to be the best critic that the movement has produced—the most ambitious, well read, and intelligent. I expect Missing Measures to break to the world the good news about him. … Certain to provoke controversy, Steele’s arguments strike me as so forceful, so well thought through, that anyone who assails them will find the going difficult.”
—X. J. Kennedy

“[Missing Measures] will be controversial. Steele upsets a number of applecarts which have been having an easy ride for the last few decades.”
—Donald E. Stanford

“Timothy Steele’s excellent book is not a formalist manifesto but an even-handed scholarly account of the whole background of ‘free verse’ poetics.”
—Richard Wilbur

Product Details
ISBN: 9781557281258
ISBN-10: 1557281254
Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
Publication Date: July 1st, 1990
Pages: 350
Language: English