American poets say goodbye to the 20th century by Andrei Codrescu

By Andrei Codrescu

The editors of this anthology requested multiple hundred American poets from divergent backgrounds and literary traditions the subsequent query: How may you are saying so long to the 20 th century? Writers either new and tested are represented right here, together with Paul Auster, Charles Bukowski, Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg, Maxine Kumin, Carolyn Kizer, Charles Simic, David Trinidad, and Anne Waldman.

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And when that isn't possible, it is dissolved in the acid bath of irony, a native twentieth-century substance. "god's very/ possibly way outta here," says Jonathan Williams. " It's hard to say adios when God's gone. The truth is that the twentieth century, the American century, matters far more to these poets than the Christian millennium. There are few calls for redemption. " There is no hint of the Messiah, not one welcome sign. Embarrassment escorts the end and denial greets the beginning. The twentieth century is where we have lived our lives.

Page 12 What bunk! Of course there must have been boats: fishermen would have had them, and merchants, and yachtsmen, there must have been ferries and liners. But no one used them; they just stood around sniveling, getting soaked, getting drowned. Okay: maybe even the best of those boats would have been no protection, would have gone under at last, but at least they'd have tried to challenge their condition. They, though, did nothing, they just stood around. No, what pisses me of about those people is not their great sinning, but their god-damned stupidity.

God's very/ possibly way outta here," says Jonathan Williams. " It's hard to say adios when God's gone. The truth is that the twentieth century, the American century, matters far more to these poets than the Christian millennium. There are few calls for redemption. " There is no hint of the Messiah, not one welcome sign. Embarrassment escorts the end and denial greets the beginning. The twentieth century is where we have lived our lives. Where we were compelled to embody modern differences. We were constituted to be utterly unlike the centuries that came before us.

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