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Rhetoric and Modernism: The Case of Poetry's Banquet, 1914
Advances in the History of Rhetoric (2014)
  • Michael Keller, South Dakota State University
Abstract
Unlike poets of previous eras, who allowed that rhetoric might serve the interests of poetry, modernist poets typically disparaged rhetoric as debased and corrupting—a source of overblown diction and of appeals to public taste that undermined serious art.  Yet if rhetoric was a suspect means of addressing the public, how might poets procure an audience beyond the coterie—an audience of sufficient size to confer legitimacy and prestige?  This problem vexed W. B. Yeats and Ezra Pound, but their efforts to resolve it—implicated in the staging of a banquet to promote Poetry magazine—exposed the contradictions and costs inherent in their phobic conception of rhetoric.
Keywords
  • Rhetoric,
  • Modernism,
  • Ezra Pound,
  • William Butler Yeats,
  • Vachel Lindsay,
  • Harriet Monroe,
  • Poetry Magazine,
  • Chicago Literary History
Disciplines
Publication Date
2014
Citation Information
Michael Keller. "Rhetoric and Modernism: The Case of Poetry's Banquet, 1914" Advances in the History of Rhetoric Vol. 17 Iss. 1 (2014) p. 7 - 24 ISSN: 1536-2426
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael-keller/2/