Have been reading The formed trace : the later poetry of Ezra Pound, by Massimo Bacigalupo (Columbia UP, 1980). An excellent book, I think. Has a good chapter titled "An American tradition", where he talks about the differences in outlook & attitude of the stream flowing from Whitman-Pound-WC Williams, and maybe an older (New England/Puritan? - he doesn't use these terms) stream, represented by Robt Lowell & Berryman, among others. The "erotic vision of nature" and optimism of the former; their affinities with the countercultural movements of the 60s; etc. Funny, he calls this Whitman/Pound/WCW wing the "mainstream" - and is critical of them, though not absolutely (the book is, after all, a measured & careful study of the Cantos & Pound's translations). Mainstream! Holy Silliman categories!

Remarks on how these (& others, including Eliot & Stevens) main modernists knew and cared little about Melville or Dickinson - who represent a more sceptical take on the "oneness" of the universe.

Hart Crane, on the other hand...

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