American Comic Poetry: History, Techniques and Modern Masters

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McFarland, Sep 21, 2015 - Literary Criticism - 196 pages
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“Morgan successfully demonstrates how popular humor is rooted in American poetic tradition in an accessible way, proving accessibility is essential to comedy as well as any lasting art.”--Brad Johnson, The Happiness Theory 

“This analysis is also historical beginning with the early Americans like Franklin, Freneau and Barlow. Using his own bits of humor, he finds in each comedy that others might overlook.”--Mike Reed, University of Texas Rio Grand Valley 

“Morgan strikes an ideal balance between humorous appreciation and poetic analysis. His insights are revealing and fresh. What a pleasure to encounter these poets through Morgan’s perspective!” --Diane Allerdyce, Whatever It Is I Was Giving Up and House of Aching Beauty 

Comic poetry is serious stuff, combining incongruity, satire and psychological effects to provide us a brief victory over reason--which could help us save ourselves, if not the world. This book champions the literary movement of comic poetry in the U.S., providing an historical context and exploring the work of such writers as Denise Duhamel, Campbell McGrath, Billy Collins, Thomas Lux and Tony Hoagland. Their techniques reveal how they make us laugh while addressing important social concerns.

 

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Contents

The Best of All Medicines Michael Hettich
1
Preface
5
Introduction
9
1 A Brief History of American Comic Literature
17
2 The Long and Short of It
92
3 Billy Collins and the Intellectual Approach
109
4 Thomas Lux and the Functional Approach
135
5 Tony Hoagland and the Psychological Approach
158
Conclusion
175
Bibliography
179
Index
183
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

 Jeff Morgan is a professor of English at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, and the author of numerous essays and poems. He lives in Boynton Beach, Florida.

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