Let's gab some more about long poems, OK Hen? OK.

Both Warren & Dale Smith, in that issue of House Organ, point toward the messianic/utopian. Smith, in asserting a bond between the poet's line & the actual (natural/cultural) locus poeticus or environment. Warren, more specifically, seems to judge the "messianic" as a sort of aggressive ethos-formation or ideology, formed in conscious or unconscious conflict with deeper psychosocial forces (patriarchy, anti-semitism, anti-Catholicism). (I think Warren displays sort of a Catholic-Jungian syncretism, in which apocalypse, messianism, utopianism are "outer" phenomena, which fall short of a more complete & substantial inner integration or paradisal state. But I'm sort of guessing here, having given his essays only a cursory & intermittent reading.)

The long poem, with its collective & holistic ambitions, applies itself especially to utopian aims.

Seems to me that in order to approach such aims, any such work would have to have:

1. some kind of cosmological worldview, social-scientific philosophy, or religious base.

2. some kind of holistic or encyclopedic representation of social life.

(Northrop Frye & others have written a lot about such generic requirements.)

How do the American examples stack up in this regard? More in a minute.

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