There were values (impersonality, historicity) of the "Golden Age" of the American Moderns (1st half of 20th cent.). One only has to think of Eliot's essays, Pound's clusters of reference-allusion, Moore's exactitude, Crane's epic expansiveness, Stevens' conversations (in the poems) with precursors & contemporaries, his ambition for a "theory" of poetry in poetry... (though they each show as much originality & subjectivity as impersonality/objectivity...)

There have been at least 3 or 4 generations between now and then, during which American poets for the most part (though of course not entirely) were fixated on their own subjective interiority and the private experiences of life in a vast & singular nation. In retrospect, and in comparison, the early Moderns - whether they lived in the U.S. or abroad - come across (to various degrees) as exiles. The 2nd generation lived in their shadow; the 3rd generation rebelled against the New Critical crystallizations of the 2nd; and the 4th generation rebelled against the egocentricities of the 3rd - by the application of protocols or methodologies (the postmoderns, the "post-avants").

Perhaps the next step will be a sort of "silver age" - a 2nd flowering of some of the compositional principles underlying the Stravinskian neo-classicism of the early 20th-century. Methodologies of surface style will no longer be sufficient. There will be a return to "3-dimensional" composition : uniting topical subject-matter with generic modelling with original invention.

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