Rural Modernity in Twentieth-Century Poetry
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Rural Modernity in Twentieth Century Poetry considers the work of English and Irish poets alongside the environmental, cultural, and economic changes that radically altered rural place during this period. Both historical context and close readings reveal the contours of the modern rural condition, a state defined by its doubled, and often contradictory, experience of spatial and temporal categories and its conflicting engagement with vernacular and literary modes of expression.
As these locales are affected by trends in agricultural modernization and widespread depopulation, and by the emergence of a transatlantic rural diaspora, these poets articulate the dimensions of a landscape, and a cultural identity, that understands the rural as estranged from itself. From Thomas Hardy to Paul Muldoon, this work charts the rural terrain not as pastoral, or anti-pastoral, but as a built environment revealed through the creative act. Poets such as Seamus Heaney and John Montague expand upon this work's refusal to rely upon nostalgic mourning, or an alternative sense of recuperation or reclamation, instead conceiving of poetry's mission as a negotiation, often ambivalent, between these bifurcated states of time, space, language, and landscape that mark the experience of rural modernity.
Chair and Committee
Wayne Fields, Dillon Brown, Dillon Johnston, Vincent Sherry, Eamonn Wall, Dirk Killen
Fluharty, Matthew, "Rural Modernity in Twentieth-Century Poetry" (2013). Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 205.